Manufacturing News

China's power consumption slows further

China's power consumption growth slowed further in August as factory activity and industrial output posted weaker growth amid the economic downturn.

The National Energy Administration said Friday that China's total electricity consumption grew only 3.6 percent from a year earlier to 449.5 billion kilowatt hour.

The August data brought electricity consumption in the first eight months to 3.28 trillion kWh, up 5.1 percent year-on-year, further easing from the 5.4 percent growth seen in the first seven months of 2012, according to NEA data.

"This is normal, because energy-consuming industries like the real estate and infrastructure construction sectors are decelerating amid the slowing economy," said Zhou Dadi, standing vice-president of the China Energy Research Society.

The NEA data show that electricity consumed by the industrial and manufacturing sector continued recent slides, accounting for 75 percent of the country's total power consumption in August, with the heavy industry taking the lion's share.

From June to August, power consumption by the industrial and manufacturing sector continued declines, indicating that the Chinese economy is still facing downward pressure.

Moreover, the cool summer and continuous rainfall also contributed to the power consumption decline, said experts.

During this year's flood season, the country's average rainfall was 11 percent higher than average, according to statistics from the China Meteorological Administration.

Experts also said the decline in power consumption can be explained by the country's economic restructuring.

In a breakdown, power consumed by the agriculture sector dipped 0.6 percent year on year to 70.2 billion kWh, while electricity consumed by the industrial and manufacturing sector added 3.2 percent year-on-year to 2.4 trillion kWh.

But the service industry and residential power consumption expanded much faster than that of the agriculture and industrial sectors during the period, according to the NEA data.

Electricity consumption by the service sector increased 11.7 percent year-on-year to reach 376 billion kWh, while residential electricity use amounted to 418.2 billion kWh, up 12.1 percent from a year earlier.

"The breakdown shows that the country's industrial structure has come as a welcome change," said Zhou.

Despite recent slides, the country's power consumption is expected to rise 7 percent to 5 trillion kWh this year, as the country's economy is stabilizing under the government's macro control efforts, according to the estimates of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

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