China's power consumption rose the fastest over the past five years during January and February as industrial growth accelerated, the National Development and Reform Commission said on Sunday.
In the first two months, 1.06 trillion kilowatt-hours of power were consumed, up 13.3 percent from a year ago to hit the highest rate over the past five years, China's top economic planner said.
While electricity consumption gained across several sectors, "the industrial sector is the key to drive power use" as it contributed 55.6 percent to the growth by rising 11.2 percent from a year ago.
The consumption growth occurred after China's industrial output expanded 7.2 percent year on year in the two months, accelerating from the 6.2 percent rise in December 2017 and quicker than the 6.3 percent gain during the same period last year, the NDRC added.
Power consumption by advanced manufacturing, including information and communications technologies, "grew rapidly in the past year," with electronics producers seeing a 18.5 percent growth year on year, while power use by software and communications firms surged 19.4 percent from a year ago, the NDRC said.
By contrast, power use by high energy-consumption steel, building materials, nonferrous metal and chemicals producers grew slowly from last year, down 3.4 percentage points.
Over the first quarter China generated 10 percent more electricity from a year ago to 1.57 trillion kilowatt-hours, according to the NDRC.
Power generation is forecast to grow rapidly in April as power supply has surged 10.04 percent year on year during the first six days of this month, the NDRC said.