Tibet leads in China's electricity consumption growth

Tibet reported the fastest growth in electricity consumption across China last year as its economy continued to grow at a double-digit rate for a 24th consecutive year.

Tibet consumed 4.18 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2016, up 21.4 percent, according to an industry report.

The region achieved a gross domestic product of 115 billion yuan (17 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016, 11.5 percent up on 2015, according to the local annual legislative meeting held last week. The rate is nearly 5 percentage points higher than the national average.

Two electricity transmission lines, one from Qinghai and the other from Sichuan, were put into operation in 2012 and 2014.

With the power grid now covering nearly 80 percent of counties in Tibet, electricity consumption in rural areas has grown.

The region is also replacing coal burning with electricity.

"A total of 142 million kilowatt hours of electricity replaced coal in 2016," said Liu Xiaoming with the State Grid's Tibet Electric Power Co. "The region is expected to replace 177,100 tonnes of coal with one billion kilowatt hours of electricity."