China’ s hydropower supply hit by reduced rainfall, reservoirs shortage: electricity council
Published: Jun 14, 2023 01:03 PM Updated: Jun 14, 2023 01:01 PM
Baihetan hydropower project straddling the provinces of Southwest China's Yunnan and Sichuan Photo: VCG

Baihetan hydropower project straddling the provinces of Southwest China's Yunnan and Sichuan Photo: VCG

China's hydropower supply is facing challenges caused by below capacity reservoirs caused by sparse rainfall in the country's southwestern provinces from the second half of 2022, with regulators flagging that the trend may impact the electricity supply during summer power usage peak.

The China Electricity Council (CEC) said the operation of the country's hydropower sector has not improved in 2023, Chinese media outlet reported on Tuesday.

In May, China's total electricity consumption hit 722.2 billion kilowatt-hours, up 7.4 percent year-on-year, and the electricity consumption in the first five months reached 35.33 trillion kilowatt-hours, up 5.2 percent year-on-year, the National Energy Administration released on Wednesday.

Hydropower plays a role in China's overall power grid. The CEC's data revealed that by the end of April, total power generator capacity across the nation reached 2.65 billion kilowatts, while the capacity of hydropower generator reached 420 million kilowatts.

Southwest China's Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, and Central China's Hubei Province remained the top three provinces for generating hydropower energy nationwide from January to April 2023.

From June to August, rainfall patterns in Central China's Hubei and Hunan provinces, Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality and Sichuan Province are forecast to slide by 20 to 50 percent, which will likely impact the local power supply and outward power transmission, according to the CEC, citing meteorological department's monitoring data.

The CEC predicted that China's power supply will remain tight throughout the rest of the year. Under normal climate conditions, expected peak electricity demand is around 1.37 billion kilowatts, equal to an increase of about 80 million kilowatts from 2022.

However, if there is a long period of widespread extreme heat, peak electricity demand may increase by approximately 100 million kilowatts compared to 2022.

Global Times