China: 700 million kW capacity and rising

17 January 2008

China increased its total installed electricity generating capacity by 14.36% in 2007, with similar growth in generation and consumption. Meanwhile preparations are continuing for construction to start in earnest at a new nuclear site in eastern China.

According to statistics released this week, the country's generating capacity grew by over 100 million kW in 2007 to 713.3 million kW. Although the 3.3 trillion kWh generated for the year was up 14.44% on 2006, consumption also increased by a similar percentage to 3.3 trillion kWh. As generation has been sufficient to meet consumption, the country has been able to close a 'large number' of small thermal power plants, according to a China Daily report. China is the world's second largest emitter of energy-related carbon dioxide.

Meanwhile, the first phase of the planned Ningde nuclear power station in eastern China's Fujian province is reported to be undergoing evaluation prior to approval from the country's economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission. The first phase of the project will see the construction of four 1000 MW CPR-1000 units, similar to those at the existing Ling Ao plant. The CPR-1000 is billed as a Chinese-designed pressurized water reactor (PWR), although the initial Ling Ao units were based on French technology. Preparations for construction at the site, located on three islands near Fuding, are reported to be nearly finished, ready for plant construction to start in earnest. The Ningde units are currently slated for start-up in the period 2012-2015.

China has 11 nuclear reactors in operation, providing around 2% of its electricity, with five more units already under construction. It has plans to increase its nuclear capacity five-fold to 40 GWe by 2020 with a further three to fourfold increase to 120-160 GWe by 2030. This would give it more nuclear capacity than any country in the world today.

Further information

WNA's Nuclear Power in China information paper

WNN: China's first new-generation reactor to start construction 
WNN: IAEA report predicts nuclear growth