China’s energy production both for fossil energy and electricity gained substantially on year over January-February with coal output up 25%, thus serving as the concrete evidence that the country has recovered from the severe hit by the COVID-19 in the first quarter of 2020, Mysteel Global noted from the latest data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The sector’s performance in the first two months of 2021, however, appeared rather steady if compared with that over January-February 2019, though the gain in natural gas was rather substantial, NBS highlighted in the release on March 15.
China’s raw coal output, the country’s top power generation source and a fossil product, swelled 25% on year to 617.6 million tonnes over January-February, partly as Beijing compromised during the period, prioritizing sufficient power supply in the cold days when some regions in East and South China came across blackouts, as reported.
Table 1: China’s fossil energy production
As for power generation, the volume across China increased 19.5% on year to 1.2 trillion kWh for the first two months of 2021, which seemed high but there was a 8.2% on year decline for 2020 because of the pandemic, according to NBS data.
Among all the source, thermal power remained the top contributor to China’s power generation, but the contribution declined by nearly 0.5 percentage point on year to 75.6% for the first two months of 2021, and the gap had been filled up by the other clean sources such as wind, nuclear and solar, while hydro power grew the least because of the dry season in winter over January-February in China, according to NBS data.
China’s thermal power generation is still dominantly fuelled by coal, though the country has been progressing with reducing coal consumption in the sector, and by the end of 2020, the country’s installed coal-fired power generation capacity dropped to 49.8% of total, or below the 50% benchmark for the first year in history, as reported.
Table 2: China’s power generation
Source: Sean Xie & Hongmei Li, Mysteel.com
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