Electricity consumption predicted to rise 6 percent in 2023, in line with GDP expansion projection
Published: Jan 23, 2023 12:17 PM
Aerial photo taken on April 16, 2021 shows an ultra-high voltage direct current converter station in northwest China's Qinghai Province. Photo: Xinhua

Aerial photo taken on April 16, 2021 shows an ultra-high voltage direct current converter station in northwest China's Qinghai Province. Photo: Xinhua

It is estimated that China's electricity consumption - a barometer of economic activity - will reach 9.15 trillion kilowatt-hours in 2023 in normal climate conditions, up 6 percent year-on-year, a report issued by China Electricity Council showed on Sunday, being fueled by a full-fledged economic recovery that drives up electricity demand.

The growth rate is in line with the predictions of economists and international organizations on Chinese economy, with most anticipating a 5-6 percent GDP expansion in 2023 despite outside pressures, which would put the world's second-largest economy on track to become one of the fastest growing major economies this year. 

In terms of different industries, the recovery of catering and accommodation, transportation, and tourism will lead to increased electricity demand across the service sector this year, thanks to the optimization of anti-COVID response, according to the report which analyzes and predicts China's electricity supply-demand situation in 2023. 

Power consumption in the primary industry, mainly agricultural sector, is predicted to maintain a relatively high growth rate in 2023, while that of the secondary industry will also experience a gradual rebound, the report said. In particular, the gradual restoring of China's property industry will prompt an electricity consumption jump in steel and construction materials, and accelerate production and investment in high-tech manufacturing, services and other fields.  

China's faster-than-expected recovery has prompted a number of foreign financial institutions and investment banks to upgrade their forecasts for GDP growth in 2023. 

UK-based bank Standard Chartered wrote in a note sent to the Global Times in recent days that the bank will "keep our 2023 growth forecast for the country at 5.8 percent." G. Bin Zhao, senior economist at PwC China, also said in a note sent to the Global Times that China's 2023 economic growth could reach 6 percent "if the impact of widespread infections nationwide on GDP growth is controlled in the first quarter."

In its latest Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank forecast that China's economy will grow at 4.3 percent in 2023.

In 2022, China's GDP expanded 3 percent year-on-year to 121 trillion yuan ($18 trillion), climbing above the 120-trillion-yuan mark for the first time. And according to data from the National Energy Administration, China's total energy consumption grew 3.6 percent year-on-year to 8.64 trillion kilowatts last year. 

The energy consumption reading is not only a gauge on the macro economic momentum, but also mirrors China's energy structure which is at a stage of ongoing transformation, observers said. 

It is expected the scale of China's newly installed generation capacity and non-fossil energy generation capacity will hit 250 million kilowatts and 180 million kilowatts in 2023, setting a record high. And, by the end of 2023, it is predicted that the total power generation capacity nationwide will reach 2.81 billion kilowatts, with that of non-fossil energy accounting for 52.5 percent.

Global Times