Oil Report

China says power capacity to top 700 GW by yr-end

BEIJING, Nov 1 (Reuters) - China’s power generating capacity is estimated to increase at least 12.5 percent this year to more than 700 gigawatts (GW), a senior energy official said on Thursday, fuelled by a fast-expanding economy thirsty for power.

“Total installed capacity (by year-end) will exceed 700 GW, up from 622 GW at the end of 2006,” said Zhao Xiaoping, the head of the energy bureau at the country’s top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission.

He said China’s generating capacity had been expanding at an average of about 100 GW a year since 2004, an increase surpassing Italy’s total capacity of 88 GW.

Growth in wind power capacity, although accounting for a tiny portion of the country’s total, will be prominent, Zhao told an energy forum in Beijing, as the country aims to boost the portion of its energy generated from renewable sources.

Wind power capacity will rise more than 74 percent to surpass 4 GW by the end of this year, from 2.3 GW at the end of 2006, he said.

“Wind power capacity will likely top 10 GW by 2010, doubling the previous plan of 5 GW,” Zhao said.

China, the world’s second-largest energy consumer, sourced more than 80 percent of its power from burning dirty coal in the first nine months of this year.