China is at 1.5 times US electricity usage in 2017 and should be double by 2023

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China’s power consumption in October rose 5 percent from a year ago to 513 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), according to data from the National Energy Administration (NEA) on Wednesday.

Consumption in the first 10 months of this year reached 5.2 trillion kWh (5200 TWh), up 6.7 percent from a year ago.

China will use 6350 TWh in electricity for 2017. The USA has had no growth in electricity usage for many years and will likely use about 4100 TWh in 2017.

China’s October industrial power consumption rose 2.9 percent year-on-year to 358.7 billion kWh.

China’s total installed generation capacity reached 1,670.62 gigawatts by the end of October, according to NEA.

Coal power usage was still increasing in China. Coal use grew by 6.3% so far in 2017.

Nuclear use is increasing and overall energy usage is increasing.

There was a pause in energy usage growth in China in 2015. There was a pause in new nuclear starts in 2016 and 2017.

All of those have turned out to be pauses and not a shift to no energy growth or shift away from growing nuclear power.

Francois Morin at The Energy Collective shows that China will increase nuclear power to beyond the US level by 2028.

Nuclear electricity generation has grown by 29% in the first nine months of 2017, following a 25% increase in 2016. In this period the utilization rate or load factor increased 3% to 5379 hours (roughly 20 hours/day). That is to say, nuclear plants have produced more and better.

Yes, the original 12th 5 year-plan target of 58GWe operational in 2020 won’t be reached, but honestly, due to construction time, this is a fact known since end 2014 by all serious analysts. The pause in construction which followed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident means that this 58GW target should instead be obtained in 2022.

While perhaps unfortunate this delay can hardly be construed as a policy change. Further, the wish to achieve 150GWe in 2030 has been repeatedly expressed by major decision makers in the industry. For example, He Yu, chairman of CGN, has said: “At least 10 new reactors need to be launched each year in order to achieve the national goal of reducing greenhouse gases”6.

There has in fact never been an official state target for 2030, but it can be safely assumed that approximately 115 GWe should be operating by that time, then making China the world’s leading nuclear country. And at that time like now, China will also still be the first nuclear country in terms of reactors under construction.

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