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The Power export in China (2017 - 2020, GWh)

  • The Power export in China reached 24,443 GWh in 2020

  • The indicator recorded a historical growth at a CAGR of 7.88% between 2017 to 2020

The Power export in China (2017 - 2020, GWh)

Published: November 2021
Source: GlobalData

Why did China’s power export grow in 2020?

China has witnessed phenomenal growth in recent years and has emerged as one of the fastest growing nations in the world. Its growth has been largely made possible by government structural reforms over the last few decades. China gradually transformed itself from a socialist economy to a market-oriented economy and became the largest exporter in the world in 2010. Other factors such as increased private sector participation, opening to foreign trade and investment, price deregulation, and the development of the stock markets have also contributed significantly to growth. China was ranked as the largest economy in the world in 2014 in terms of purchasing power parity, ahead of the US. However, despite these positive signs, the economy is plagued by issues such as low employment rates and corruption.

China exports power to Vietnam, and the autonomous administrative units of Hong Kong and Macau.

China is a net exporter of electricity. In 2000, the country imported more electricity than it imported. In 2020 as well, electricity exports were higher than imports.

Impact of COVID-19

China’s economy did show symptoms of economic slowdown but compared to other countries, China successfully escaped the worst. The GDP growth did slowdown in 2020; however, the GDP did not fall as in other countries. China was able to sustain its exports which is one of the major contributors to its GDP growth. The exports of the country were driven by increased demand for electronic equipment which rose because of increase in investment in 5G infrastructure and demand for home-working equipment.

Issue with export: Grid Interconnection

The power grid in China is not a unified system. The national grid is managed by both SGCC and CSG. The SGCC-operated network covers several provinces. Because each regional cluster functions relatively independently, supply-and-demand mismatch occurs between provinces. This means that a region may have a sudden increase in its current generation but may not be able to export it to a neighbor due to insufficient grid connectivity. Because of the supply-and-demand mismatch, integration of the power grids is planned for completion in the coming years.

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