Powering up the economy

Demand for electricity buoyed by economy’s revival after coronavirus slump, official says

Powering up the economy
Switched on: A recovering economy is being reflected in greater power generation. 

(ATF) Electricity generation is accelerating in China after slumping during the coronavirus lockdown.

Output in early June grew 9.1% year-on-year buoyed by growing demand, the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) said on Wednesday. That adds to a 5.6% increase in the same period last month.

"As a bellwether of China's economy, a hike in power generation shows the country's economic and social activities are returning to normal at an accelerated pace," said Shan Baoguo, deputy chief economist with the State Grid Energy Research Institute.

Most parts of China have seen higher temperatures since June, which also contributed to the increase, Shan added.

In east China's Jiangsu Province, electricity consumed by the information technology and software industries continued to grow rapidly, while mining, food processing, and equipment manufacturing sectors also reported rapid increases in power consumption.

The gradual industrial recovery from two months of virus-induced lockdowns and the summer harvest explained part of the recent increases, said Wang Yiqing with the Xuzhou branch of SGCC.

Electricity consumption in the city of Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, jumped 15.4% year-on-year in early June. Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group, a leading engineering machinery manufacturer, saw its power consumption rise almost 30% during the period, according to Wang.

New outbreaks of coronavirus in parts of China could lead to another decline in power generation if the infections prompt more severe containment measures, energy news magazine Argus warned.