China lowers 2015 electricity use estimate

Beijing, Oct 20 (IANS) The China Electricity Council (CEC) has trimmed its estimate of the amount of electricity the country will consume in 2015, based on the decelerating economy.

The CEC anticipates an annual increase of 1 percent in electricity use this year, compared with its previous forecast of 2 percent in June, said Ouyang Changyu, deputy secretary-general of the council.

He attributed the downgrading to weaker-than-expected economic growth and cool weather in the third quarter of the year, while predicting the economy would improve during the fourth quarter, reports Xinhua news agency.

China’s power use grew 11.9 percent in 2011, 5.6 percent in 2012, 7.5 percent in 2013 and 3.8 percent in 2014.

In the first three quarters, power use rose 0.8 percent from a year earlier to 4.13 trillion kilowatt hours, according to the National Energy Administration.

As the service sector takes an increasingly larger share of China’s economy than the power-consuming industrial sector, the country’s total energy use per unit of GDP is decreasing rapidly, said Ouyang.

In the first three quarters, energy use per unit of GDP fell 5.7 percent year on year, official data showed.

China aims to cut energy use this year by 16 percent from the 2011 level, which was 0.793 tonnes of standard coal per $1,570 of GDP.

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