* Total generating capacity seen overtaking U.S. this yr
* Power shortages to persist in 2012 as new capacity lags
* Power use to rise by about 9 pct versus 11 pct in 2011
* Prices of coal to remain high
BEIJING, Jan 16 China's new installed
power generation capacity this year will be the least since
2006, straining electricity supplies with power consumption
expected to grow by about 9 percent, China Energy News reported
Citing the China Electric Council, a lobby group of the
country's top power providers including Huaneng Power
International Inc and Datang International
Power Generation Co Ltd , the report said
China would bring 10 gigawatt (GW) less new capacity online this
year than in 2011.
It said consumpton in the world's No.2 power market was
likely to hit 5,130 billion kilowatt hours (kwh) this year.
That compares with 4,692.8 billion kwh consumed last year,
up 11.7 percent over 2010 as reported by the National Energy
Administration on Sunday.
"We're expecting tight power supplies in some regions this
year as the investment abilities of power companies decreases
... and other factors such as tight coal supply and the prospect
of low rainfall limiting hydropower output," the reported quoted
an industry executive as saying.
Prices for coal, which fuels about three quarters of China's
total power capacity, would stay at high levels because of
transportation constraints and industry consolidation.
The paper, run by the People's Daily, said China would have
total installed generating capacity of about 1,140 gigawatts
(GW) by the end of this year, surpassing the United States. Of
the total, thermal power would make up 810 GW or 71 percent,
hydropower 250 GW or 22 percent, and nuclear 14.77 GW - about
Wind power connected to grids would reach 59 GW, or about 5
percent of the total, the paper said.
(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Chris Lewis)