Jan 30, 2019 06:52 PM

Chart of the Day: Chinese Electricity Consumption Growth Hits 6-Year High

China’s electricity consumption surged to 6.84 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2018, up 8.5% year-on-year, according to data released by the China Electricity Council (CEC) on Tuesday (link in Chinese). The growth rate for 2018 was 1.9 percentage points higher than in 2017 and marked the highest level since 2012.


The growth momentum of electricity consumption diverged from China’s economic slowdown, which saw the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) fall to 6.6% in 2018, down 0.2 percentage points from 2017, marking the slowest annual expansion since 1990, according to official data.

The lion’s share of consumption came from secondary industry, which involves turning raw materials into products and commodities, and which accounted for 40.7% of China's total GDP last year. For 2018, secondary industry’s consumption climbed 7.2% year-on-year to 4.72 trillion kWh and drove the overall growth of electricity consumption by 5 percentage points, according to the CEC.

Tertiary industry, which includes the service sectors, drove the growth of overall consumption by 1.9 percentage points, according to the CEC. Tertiary industry consumption reached 1.08 trillion kWh, accounting for 15.8% of overall electricity use in 2018, according to Caixin’s calculations based on CEC data.

Contact reporter Charlotte Yang (

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