China’s Energy Agency Raises Power Use Forecast on Economy

China’s top energy industry regulator raised its forecast for the nation’s electricity demand in 2011 because of faster-than-estimated economic growth.

The country’s power use may increase as much as 12 percent to 4.69 trillion kilowatt-hours this year following a “good start” in economic expansion, the National Energy Administration said in a statement today. That compares with the 9 percent growth forecast made by the agency in January.

China’s economy expanded 9.7 percent in the first quarter, boosting its demand for energy and raw materials. The country’s power use grew by 15 percent to a seven-month high in March as industrial output rose more than expected, the Beijing-based National Bureau of Statistics said on April 15.

China’s electricity use may climb 11 percent to 2.2 trillion kilowatt-hours in the first half, the National Energy Administration said today.

The country may add 30 gigawatts of power capacity between January and June, and 80 gigawatts for this year, it said.

China’s apparent fuel demand may rise 9 percent to 130 million tons in the first half and gain 8 percent to 265 million tons this year, it said. Natural gas output for the full year may jump 7.5 percent to 104 billion cubic meters, the agency said.

The nation spent 24.3 billion yuan on nuclear and wind power projects in the first quarter, it said. Its wind-power generation gained 60 percent to 18.8 billion kilowatt-hours and nuclear electricity output rose by 17 percent to 20.6 billion kilowatt-hours in the first three months of this year.