Demand and Supply of Electricity in China

The demand for electricity has been growing rapidly in this decade. Electricity generation in China was 2544 TWh in 2005, with an installed capacity of 517 GWe, which grew at an unprecedented rate to 713 GW in 2007. In its reference case, the IEA expects total generation to increase at a rate of 4.9% per year, resulting in three times the electricity generation in 2005 by 2030 [9]. The Chinese projections are a bit lower, as China's state energy council expects generation to double from 2005, and installed capacity to increase to 1,120 GWe in 2020 [13]. Regional demand and supply of electricity in China is shown in Fig. 11.4. Generally, power demand in the coastal regions is higher than supply, whereas inland regions have excess supply, with the exception of the Northeast region. Eastern coastal and central inland regions have the highest demand for electricity.

Fig. 11.4 Regional imbalances in the Chinese electricity markets (Source: Wang and Nakata [14])

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Fig. 11.4 Regional imbalances in the Chinese electricity markets (Source: Wang and Nakata [14])

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Electricity Generation China
Total: 713GWe; Coal: 530 GWe(~74%) Fig. 11.5 Installed generation capacity in China (2007) (Source: Zhao et al. [10])

China's installed generation capacity (Fig. 11.5) has doubled in a short span of 5 years, from 356.6 GWe in 2002 [15] to 713 GWe in 2007 [14]. About three-fourth of the total installed generation capacity is based on pulverized coal-fired plants. According to IEA, China added over 105 GWe (almost double the total installed generation capacity of Mexico) to its capacity in the year 2006 alone, of which about 100 GWe is from coal-fired plants [9]. While diversification of generation capacity remains a key goal of policy initiatives in China's power sector, coal is expected to remain a dominant source of generation in the near to mid-term.

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