China`s current anti-inflation measures in nurturing an electricity supply crisis Page: 4 of 19
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2. The Impacts of Anti-Inflation Measures on China's Power Sector
Since the beginning of China's economic reforms, the country has experienced rapid
growth in its power sector. During the 1980-1994 period, China's electricity generation grew
at an average of 8.2 percent per year. In 1994, total electricity generation reached 905 billion
Kwh (TWh), of which hydropower plants generated 168.5 TWh, thermal power plants
(predominately coal-fired) generated 723 TWh, and nuclear power plants generated 13.5 TWh.
Figure 1 shows that by the end of 1994, China's total generating capacity reached 198 gigawatts
(GW), of which hydropower capacity accounted for about 25 percent, thermal power about 74
percent, and nuclear power about 1 percent. In 1994, 12.4 GW of large and medium-size
generators were put into operation (China Daily December 28, 1994). The past achievement
in China's power sector is contributed by a number of factors including central government
priorities in the power sector, reforms in the investment mechanism, and the open-door policy
toward foreign investors. China now has a total of 60 foreign-financed power projects (24.7
GW in hydropower, 45.7 GW in thermal power and 2 GW in nuclear power) either under
construction or negotiation (Peregrine, 1995, p20). However, the resent anti-inflation measures
are expected to have serious negative impacts on the development of China's power industry.
In order to reduce the investment scale in fixed assets, a total of 67.6 billion yuan
investment in power construction projects are scheduled in 1995, reflecting an one-fourth
reduction from the 1994 level (in constant value). The reduction in power project investments
will postpone about 20 GW power projects which are currently under construction, some
projects will have to be suspended, and new large and medium sized power projects will not be
started in 1995. By the end of 1995, total generating capacity is expected to reach 210 GW with
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Li, Binsheng & Johnson, C.J. China`s current anti-inflation measures in nurturing an electricity supply crisis, report, June 1, 1995; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc698744/m1/4/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.