China National Nuclear Power’s first-quarter power generation increased by 15.5% from the same period last year, with renewables growth outpacing its dominant nuclear arm.
Total power output was 47 billion kilowatts hours (kWh) in the first three months of 2022, including 44.3 billion kWh from nuclear power stations and 2.69 billion kWh from its wind and solar plants, the company said in a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The renewables division’s output rose by 38% year on year, versus a 14% rise in nuclear generation.
The company, a subsidiary of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), holds controlling stakes in 25 power stations with combined capacity of 23.7 gigawatts (GW), while its renewables plants have installed capacity totalling 8.9GW, it said.
For the whole of 2021, China Nuclear Power generated nearly 19% more electricity than a year earlier at 182.6 billion kWh.
Argentina is pushing China to fully finance a new $8.3 billion nuclear power plant in the country, as the government grapples with high debt levels and looks to bring down its fiscal deficit as part of a recent deal with the International Monetary Fund.
The South American nation signed an agreement with CNNC for construction of a nuclear power plant in February. CNNC at the time said it would finance 85% of the cost, with Argentina shouldering the rest.
The country, however, now faces a tighter fiscal outlook. It needs to hit a fiscal balance by 2025 from a 3% deficit last year under terms of a recent $44 billion IMF program, including cutting billions of dollars in energy subsidies.
“We’re aiming for 100% in terms of financing from China to guarantee no delays given the problems we have with funding,” said Jorge Sidelnik, executive director of Argentina’s state operator Nucleoelectrica Argentina, the local partner.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell