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China's April power capacity near record even as Beijing curbs excess
May 17, 2017 / 6:47 AM / 3 months ago

China's April power capacity near record even as Beijing curbs excess

BEIJING, May 17 (Reuters) - China's installed power capacity rose 7.6 percent to the second-highest on record in April, with coal accounting for nearly two-thirds of the total, data showed on Wednesday, even as the country has pledged to curb excess and shift to cleaner power.

Capacity rose to 1,613.25 gigawatts (GW) by the end of April, just shy of December's record 1,645 GW, National Energy Administration (NEA) data showed, in line with China's expansion to keep pace with its industrial demand.

That was up 7.6 percent from a year earlier and 0.3 percent from March.

The total takes the world's second-largest economy closer to its target of 2,000 GW by 2020, as outlined in the current five-year plan.

Beijing's push to curb excesses in its power capacity showed some signs of taking effect, with the year-on-year growth rate at its lowest since at least 2010, according to historic data.

The 7.6 percent rise compares with double-digit percentage increases for most of 2016. Growth has slowed every month since July last year and has not fallen below 8 percent since at least the end of 2010, data shows.

A slowdown was expected as Beijing aims to rein in excess capacity and shift the nation to renewable generation that produces less emissions.

But coal's 65 percent portion of the total capacity, well below the 2020 target, highlights the obstacles of the shift to cleaner fuels like hydro, wind and solar. (Reporting by Josephine Mason and Lusha Zhang; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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