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China’s Coal and Gas Power Plummets as Covid Zero Hammers Demand

  • Renewables take share after more solar installations
  • Aluminum output hits a record but oil refining drops

China’s electricity output plummeted last month as virus restrictions in Shanghai and other parts of the country pummeled economic activity from factory floors to steel mills and shopping malls.

Electricity generation fell in April from the prior month to 608.6 billion kilowatt-hours, a decline of 4.3% on the same period last year. Thermal power output plunged to an even greater degree, down 12% for the biggest drop since 2008, as the share of renewables increased at the expense of coal and gas and China installed more solar capacity than expected in the first quarter.