According to statista.com, China is the world’s largest electricity producer so far, with nearly 7.8 trillion kilowatt-hours generated in 2020.
However, due to the economy’s rapid growth, the amount of electricity available is insufficient to fulfill manufacturing demands.
The electricity consumption in China was about 8.31 trillion kilowatt-hours in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 10.3%
There was a power shortage last October in the northeastern provinces of China.
The Global Times reported that China imported 555 million electricity kilowatt-hours per month from Inter RAO, a Russian electrical power company, to resolve the issue.
The first reason China buys electricity from Russia is that China and Russia are geographically close.
China has a large geographical span, and each region’s power generation cost differs. In remote areas in China, the long transportation distance and the power loss are significant, and the transportation cost is high.
Meanwhile, the border area between Russia and China is rich in electric power. However, it is not the region that concentrates Russia’s industrial and human life that results in excess electricity.
Heilongjiang Province is located in the northernmost part of China and is adjacent to the Far East region in Russia. It has a natural geographical advantage in receiving electricity from Russia. Suppose China imports electricity from Russia; it solves the power shortage problem and reduces the consequences on the ecological environment caused by coal-fired power generation.
The second reason is that the electricity prices in Russia are low.
In 2019, Inter RAO supplied 3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to China, with an electricity price of 0.04 dollars per kilowatt-hour. Its total value was 116 million dollars.
Meanwhile, the electricity price for coal-fired power generation in Heilongjiang Province is about 0.06 dollars per kilowatt-hour. It is around 0.02 dollars per kilowatt-hour higher than the import price of Russian electricity.