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[BEIJING] China's total power generation rose 3.2 per cent in 2014, official data showed on Tuesday, the slowest growth rate in 16 years after demand was hit by softer economic growth and milder weather over the year.
The country produced 5.4638 trillion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2014, according to the data published by the National Bureau of Statistics.
The annual growth rate more than halved from 7.5 per cent in the previous year to the lowest since 1998, when power output growth dropped to 2.8 per cent after the Asian financial crisis hit industrial demand.
Overall economic growth is set to slow further this year, and industries and local governments are also under pressure to meet 2015 energy efficiency targets, meaning that power output growth is unlikely to recover to previous highs, analysts said. "Electricity demand is largely due to the needs of heavy industry, which accounts for around 70 per cent of the total, and I don't see signs of a recovery in this sector," said Zhou Hao, Shanghai-based economist at ANZ Bank. "Slow construction activity will continue to weigh on power consumption amid a soft Chinese property market," he said.
Power output in December 2014 was 490.2 billion kWh, up just 1.3 per cent on the same month a year earlier.
China's energy administration said last week that total power consumption rose 3.8 per cent to 5.523 trillion kWh in 2014, with installed capacity rising 8.7 per cent to 1,360 gigawatts.