* Total capacity set to exceed 2,000 GW by end of 2019
* 120 GW of new power went into operation in 2018
* Coal-fired capacity now accounts for 53 pct of total (Recasts, adds detail)
SHANGHAI, Jan 29 (Reuters) - China is expected to put another 110 gigawatts (GW) of new power generation into operation in 2019, more than the entire capacity of the United Kingdom, with over half consisting of clean energy sources like solar, an industry group said late on Tuesday.
Despite promises to “decouple” economic growth and energy consumption, China’s total power capacity has continued to surge. The country put 120 GW into operation last year after connecting a record 133.7 GW of new capacity in 2017, according to data from the China Electricity Council (CEC).
But it has steadily raised the share of clean energy sources in the total, and is expected to put another 62 GW of non-fossil fuel power into operation during 2019, CEC said in its annual report.
The group, which represents China’s power generating firms, said the country’s total installed capacity was expected to break the 2,000 GW barrier by the end of this year, rising around 5 percent from the end of 2018.
Chinese electricity consumption rose to 6.84 trillion kilowatt hours in 2018, with growth hitting a six-year high of 8.5 percent year-on-year, it said. The rise in consumption was led by the manufacturing industry and services sector.
The rate of growth exceeded expectations. The council had forecast total power consumption would increase 5.5 percent in 2018.
China is in the middle of what it has described as an “energy revolution” aimed at easing its dependence on coal, a major source of air pollution as well as climate-warming greenhouse gases.
The CEC said China’s coal-fired power capacity reached 1,010 GW by the end of last year, accounting for 53 percent of the total, a fall of 2.2 percentage points on the year.
Around 810 GW, or 80 percent, of China’s coal-fired capacity was employing “ultra-low emission” technology by the end of 2018, according to a speech by China’s Environment Minister Li Ganjie published on Monday. (Reporting by David Stanway in Shanghai and Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Subhranshu Sahu)