January 31st, 2012 | Shanghai Daily Spending on power generation dips 6.5%
CHINA spent 6.5 percent less on power generation capacity last year as tighter profit margins discouraged utilities to build more coal-fired plants.
Spending in power generation projects totaled 371.2 billion yuan (US$58.6 billion), compared with 397 billion yuan in 2010, data from the National Energy Administration showed yesterday. Of this, investment in thermal power plants fell 26.1 percent to 105.4 billion yuan after tariffs and surging coal prices pushed thermal power operations into the red.
The government was forced to raise non-residential tariffs by 5 percent and impose a temporary cap on coal prices in December to mitigate the cost pressure on power firms and help prevent widespread electricity shortages with the onset of winter.
But spending in power grids rose 6.8 percent to 368.2 billion yuan last year as China continued to improve its transmission capacity, the NEA said.
Investment in hydropower projects rose 14.8 percent to 94 billion yuan last year while that in windmill farms fell 20 percent to 82.9 billion yuan, said the NEA, which is under the National Development and Reform Commission.
By Richard Fu