CHINA Per capita electricity consumption increases by about 700 times over 70 years


Per capita electricity consumption increases by about 700 times over 70 years

By Wang Zi and Du Aoran | People's Daily app

15:43, September 18, 2019

As the important foundation for national economic and social development, China's energy sector has undergone dramatic transformations since the founding of the People's Republic of China. China’s electricity has become the world's most installed power supply system, with the largest installed capacity and the most advanced power operation.


Photo: People's Daily English app

The transformation from ensuring "power quantity" to “power quality" for ordinary people has been gradually realized. 

From “insufficient power" to "being liberal in supply" 

In the first seven months of the year, electrical consumption increased by 4.6% year-on-year. And the urban and rural residents' electrical consumption was 585.1 billion kWh, an increase of 8.8%.

Looking back 70 years ago, scarce energy was primarily used in the industrial field. It was difficult to guarantee use for daily life, not to mention electricity in rural areas.

Since the reform and opening up, especially since the 21st century, with the improvement in energy supply security and people's living standards, liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas have gradually entered households. We have realized the transformation from “insufficient power" to "being liberal in supply".

From "energy-scarce" to “energy-rich” 

Seventy years ago, due to the weak foundation of China's energy industry, coal-powered power transmission voltage levels were low, and oil production was far from meeting demand. After years of development, enhanced energy production capacity has made China a major energy country with a multi-wheel drive energy production system of coal, oil, gas and renewable energy.

From "coal-dominated" to "clean and diversified" energy

At the beginning of the year, the National Energy Administration announced that China had built the world's largest supply system of clean coal power.

China's total coal consumption declined from 94.4% in 1953 to 59.0% in 2018. The proportion of oil consumption has risen from 3.8 percent in 1953 to 18.9 percent in 2018; the proportion of clean energy such as natural gas, primary electricity and other energy sources continued to rise. Natural gas use has risen from 0.1 percent in 1957 to 7.8 percent in 2018, and as a primary electrical and other energy source from 1.8 percent in 1953 to 14.3 percent in 2018.

Over the past 70 years, with the lasting increase of China's total energy capacity and accelerated change in energy use, the development of clean and low-carbon energy use has been facilitated step by step and the energy structure has been substantially optimized.

"China's energy development is in a critical period of transformation with unprecedented opportunities and challenges. We will promote high-quality development of the energy sector, advance reform of the energy system as well as sci-tech innovation, deepen structural reform of the energy supply side, focus on energy projects that benefit the people, and strengthen energy supply and production safety,” Zhang Jianhua, director of the National Energy Administration, said.

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