China posts fastest quarterly power use since 2012 as cleaner energy rises

Around 40.5 billion yuan (US$6.4 billion) will be invested to upgrade power grid in rural regions to replace coal with electricity.

Growth in China's quarterly power consumption rose the fastest in the first three months since 2012 as cleaner energy plays a greater role in electricity usage, the National Energy Administration said today.

Electricity use rose 9.8 percent in the first quarter, up 2.9 percentage points from a year ago and was the fastest quarterly growth since 2012.

The growth was boosted by China's coal-to-electricity policy which urges residents to use electricity instead of coal for heating, said Li Fulong, spokesman of the NEA.

Around 2 million households were heated with 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, instead of coal, between winter and spring in North China, Li said.

China will invest around 40.5 billion yuan (US$6.4 billion) in upgrading electricity power grid in rural regions this year to replace coal which causes pollution.

Investment in wind, hydro, nuclear and solar power surged 18 percent annually over the first quarter, “far above the average rate of 10.5 percent for the investment in the electricity industry,” he added, as clean energy takes up a larger portion in China’s electricity use.

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