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China's power generation capacity up 10%

Updated: 2010-01-07 17:41
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China's power generation capacity rose 10.23 percent to 874 million kilowatts by the end of 2009, only second to the US, according to figures released Thursday.

Thermal electricity accounted for 74.6 percent of the total, or 652 million kilowatts, down 1.45 percentage points year-on-year, as the nation strived to reduce dependence on polluting energy sources, according to the China Electricity Council.

Hydro-power capacity was 197 million kilowatts, or 22.51 percent of the total, up 0.74 percentage points.

Wind power capacity nearly doubled in 2009 to 16.13 million kilowatts.

Nuclear power capacity was 9.08 million kilowatts, with 23.05 million kilowatts of capacity under construction by the end of last year.

Some 755.84 billion yuan ($111.15 billion) was invested on the improvement of power generation and transmission facilities in 2009, up 20 percent year-on-year. Investment in wind and nuclear power projects rose while that for thermal power expansion fell.

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To fulfill its target of emission cuts, the authorities closed small coal-fueled power plants with a generating capacity of 26.17 million kilowatts in 2009.

The government has pledged to increase the capacity of new energy to 15 percent of the total by 2020.

Despite the rising capacity, power supply still fell short of demand notably when the icy weather that hit most parts of the nation this winter strained power grids.

Several provinces including Jiangsu and Hubei cut power temporarily in some areas to ration electricity.