A Critical Analysis of the Impact of Pandemic on China's Electricity Usage Patterns and the Global Development of Renewable Energy

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Apr 11;19(8):4608. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19084608.

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted economic activity in numerous sectors due to multiple forms of disruption, including border closures, a stay-at-home policy, and social isolation; the electricity consumption trends in this region will undoubtedly improve. This article examines the impact of COVID-19 on electricity generation and consumption in China during the first two quarters (Q1-Q2) of 2020 and 2021. Furthermore, several governments' perspectives on COVID-19's implications for renewable energy development, notably offshore wind power and solar photovoltaics (PV), were examined. Results of this article show that COVID-19 impacts the power industry. According to the analysis, during the first two quarters of 2020, the amount of electricity generated and consumed by China decreased by 1.4 and 1.3 percent, respectively, the capacity of the power plants increased by 5.3 GW and coal consumption dropped by 3.6 g/kWh. Investments in the power generation sector increased by 51.5 billion yuan and investment in the power grid grew by 0.7 billion. Additionally, new generation capacity decreased by 378 GW during the first two quarters of 2020. During the first two quarters of 2021, electricity consumption and production grew by 13.7 and 16.2 percent, respectively. Power plants' capacity increased by 9.5 GW, while coal consumption for power supply fell by 0.8 g/kWh. The investment in power generation projects increased by 8.9 billion, while investment in power grid projects increased by 4.7 billion. Compared to last year's same period, 14.92 GW of new capacity was installed. Due to lockdown measures, such as studying at home or working at home, domestic power use in the first two quarters of 2020-2021 increased by 6.6 and 4.5 percent, respectively. To minimize COVID-19's impact on renewable energy development and assist in building offshore wind power plants, economic and financial measures have been put in place to reduce the epidemic's effect on solar PV systems.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; electricity consumption; electricity generation; interactive analysis.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coal
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Electricity
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Power Plants
  • Renewable Energy

Substances

  • Coal