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Power Consumption of China

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
China: Power Generation.US Commercial Service, 2004. "China's electricity consumption reached 1,891 billion kwh in 2003, up 15.4 percent over 2002, a record since 1978." 216 GW
Halwell, Brian. State of the World 2004. New York: Norton, 2004: 43. "The total electricity in China in 2003 is 827 KWh per person" 113 GW
Jihgzhi Sun. The Economic Geography of China. New York: Oxford, 1982: 24. "The consumption of energy between 1949 and 1980 was 585.88 million tonnes" 480 GW
China: Economics, Demographics, and Environment. United States Energy Information Administration. 1997. "China's per capita energy consumption has grown from less than 18 million Btu in 1980 to about 31 million Btu in 1996. It is projected to reach 58 million Btu by 2015." 719–2328 GW

Although China is the world's most populated country, it only accounts for around 13 percent of the world's power consumption. Nonetheless, China's power consumption has rapidly increased since 1949. It relies heavily on coal, natural gas, electric power, and hydroelectric power; all which have contributed to the rising usage of power in the country. Due to such a high population, China's power output is in short supply. There was once a shortage of electricity in China in 2002 and 21 provinces had to initiate blackouts to limit the energy consumption.

In 1980, the total power consumption of China was 7.19 W and is expected to surge to 2.33 × 1011 W by the year 2015. One way of converting energy into power is using BTU, or British thermal unit. In order to convert BTU to power, it must first be converted to joules. Then, since the BTU is given per person, it must be multiplied by the total number of people in China to find total consumption. Since power equals work divided by time, the energy must then be divided by the total amount of seconds in a year. For example, using 18 million BTU per person:


energy per person = (18 × 106 BTU) x (1055.056 J/Btu) = 1.899 × 1010 J/per person
energy for the whole country = (1.899 × 1010 J/per person) x (1.2 × 109 people) = 2.27 × 1019 J
power = energy/time = (2.27 × 1019 J)/ (31,536,000 s) = 7.19 × 1011 W = 719 GW

Another way of converting energy into power is by using kilowatt hours per person. First, the number is multiplied by the population and then divided by the hours per year. For example,


energy per person = 827 kWh/person
energy for the entire country = (827 kWh/person) x (1.2 × 109 people) = 9.92 × 1011kWh
power = (9.92 × 1011 kWh)/(8760 hours) = 1.13 × 108 kW = 113 GW

Mariya Golub -- 2004