In 2021, China’s GDP growth rate reached 8.1%, a year-on-year increase of 5.8 percentage points, and the average growth rate in the past two years was 5.1%. The total energy consumption was 5.24 billion tons of coal equivalent (tce), a year-on-year increase of 5.2%, an increase of 3 percentage points over 2020, yet still significantly lower than the GDP growth rate.
Driven by the continuous recovery of the economy and the rapid growth of exports, the annual electricity consumption of China in 2021 reached 8,313 TWh, a year-on-year increase of 10.3%, and an increase of 7.2 and 5.8 percentage points compared with 2020 and 2019 respectively.
The total installed power generation capacity in China reached 2,377 GW by the end of 2021, a year-on-year increase of 7.9%. Although the growth rate has dropped by 1.6 percentage points compared with 2020, non-fossil fuel accounted for 78.3% of newly installed capacity, and the share of annual investment increased to 88.6%. The total installed capacity of renewable power sources exceeded 1,000 GW for the first time, of which non-hydro renewable accounted for 28.3%, a year-on-year increase of 2.7 percentage points. The installed capacity of coal power increased by 30 GW, yet its proportion in total installed capacity further dropped to 46.7%.
The power balance of China was generally tight in 2021, therefor a stable electricity supply will be the industry’s top priority in 2022. According to the forecast of the China Electricity Council (CEC), considering factors such as economic development and electrification process, it is expected that the year-on-year growth of total electricity consumption will reach 5%-6% in 2022, which is the same level as that in 2019. Driven by the rapid development of new energy, the installed capacity of non-fossil fuel power is expected to account for 50% of the total installed capacity for the first time, reaching 1,300 GW.