* Nov power output up 8.5 pct, slowest growth in 10 months
* Hydro generation stages 1st increase in 5 months
* Power woes to be less than expected amid slowing economy
(Adds details, background)
By Jim Bai and Chen Aizhu
BEIJING, Dec 9 China's power generation
increased at the slowest pace in 10 months in November,
government data showed on Friday, as demand momentum waned along
with slowing industrial output in the world's second-largest
Slowing demand, along with recent power price hikes and coal
price caps, suggest a developing power shortage in the winter
season could be less severe than anticipated.
Electricity output increased 8.5 percent from a year earlier
to 371.3 billion kilowatt-hours last month, or 12.38 billion
kilowatt hours per day, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
Daily generation picked up from October, when demand was at
a seasonal trough between the summer and winter peaks.
For the first 11 months, power output gained 12 percent from
a year earlier to 4.19 trillion kilowatt-hours, higher than the
total for 2010.
By sources, output from coal-fired power stations increased
9 percent on year, the first single-digit growth since February,
while generation from hydropower plants staged its first
increase in five months, gaining 6.3 percent from a year ago.
Last month's output from nuclear power stations declined 6.7
percent on year, the data showed.
POWER WOES SEEN LESS THAN FEARED
China's industrial output growth hit its slowest pace in
more than two years in November and inflation tumbled as
economic conditions deteriorated.
Power consumption by industries accounts for more than 80
percent of the total in China.
Slowing economic activities suggested that power demand
could lose steam and thus help ease expected power shortages.
China has forecast some 30 gigawatts of power shortfalls, or
about 3 percent of national generating capacity, in the
winter-spring season, though a combination of estimates by
individual regions was higher.
The country's water storage was less than normal in some
regions while many coal-fuelled power plants were struggling to
maintain normal operations after their profit margin was
repeatedly eroded by high coal costs.
Coal-fired power plants produce around 80 percent of China's
China put a cap on coal prices and raised power tariffs by
over 5 percent from Dec. 1 to help power generating firms, in a
pre-emptive move to reduce blackouts in winter.
Beijing has urged relevant government departments and energy
firms to ensure stable coal, power, fuel and natural gas
supplies in winter while curbing demand from energy-intensive
sectors or from industries with surplus production capacity.
(Editing by Ken Wills and Sugita Katyal)