Number 1 in Thermal, Solar, Nuclear, Wind and Hydro Power
- We all know that China is the world’s largest thermal power market, but now it is also the world’s largest solar, wind, nuclear and hydropower market. The quality and quantity of China’s power supply is the foundation for sustaining China’s rapid growth which will, one hopes, continue to benefit the world economy as well.
News briefing compiled by Tim Weckesser
China's electricity consumption jumps 14.56% in 2010
China overtook the US as the world's largest energy consumer in 2009, years before it was expected to do so, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). In 2010, electricity consumption rose 14.56% year-on-year to well over 4.19 trillion kWh in 2010, according to the China Electricity Council (CEC). The 2010 growth rate was 8.12 percentage points higher than the previous year. The CEC also said that China's investment in the power sector reached 705.1 billion yuan ($105.24 billion) last year, down 8.45% from a year earlier. By the end of 2010, China's installed power generating capacity rose 10.07% year-on-year to 962 million kilowatts.
China aims to expand thermal power capacity by 80 mln kw in 2011
China will increase its thermal power output capacity by 80 million kilowatts in 2011, as thermal power continues to play the major role in the country's power supply. From 2011 to 2015, China will increase its thermal power capacity by 260-270 million kilowatts – this according to Zhang Guobao, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's economic planning body..
The thermal power projects will be mainly located in the coal-rich western regions of China, Zhang said. At the end of 2008, thermal power generated about 75% of China's installed electricity capacity, which stood at 792 million kilowatts, according to the China Electricity Council. The Council said China's installed electricity capacity had exceeded 900 million kilowatts by September 2010 – an increase of over 13% in just two years.
China says it knows how to reprocess nuclear fuel
Chinese scientists have mastered the technology for reprocessing fuel from nuclear power plants, potentially boosting the supplies of carbon-free electricity, state television recently reported. The breakthrough will extend by many times the amount of power that can be generated from China's nuclear plants as fissile and fertile materials are recovered to be new fuel, CCTV said. Several European countries, Russia, India and Japan already reprocess nuclear fuel -- the actual materials used to make nuclear energy -- to separate and recover the unused uranium and plutonium, reduce waste and safely close the nuclear cycle. CCTV said the country has enough fuel now to last up to 70 years and the breakthrough could yield enough to last 3,000 years. To produce that amount of fuel, however, China would have to build a hugely expensive and highly dangerous breeder reactor, said Mathew Bunn, an expert on the Chinese nuclear program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
China supplants US as country with most installed wind-power capacity
China in 2010 became the country with the most installed wind-power capacity, supplanting the United States, industry officials said recently. China installed 16GW of new wind-power capacity in 2010, a 62% year-on-year surge, taking its total installed capacity to 41.8GW. The US installed about 5GW of new wind-power capacity in 2010, taking its total installed capacity to 40.2GW, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
It is estimates that China’s wind-power capacity installed in 2010 will save 31.3 million metric tons of coal per year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 90 million tons, suspended particles by nearly 33,000 tons, sulfur dioxide by 64,000 tons and nitric oxide by 60,000 tons. China's wind power industry has developed fast in recent years, boosted by the promulgation of the Renewable Energy Law in February 2005. China's cumulative installed wind-power capacity increased by more than 100% for five consecutive years.
China will increase cumulative grid-connected installed wind-power capacity to 55GW this year and increase cumulative installed wind-power capacity to 100GW by 2015. By 2020, it plans to have 200GW of installed capacity. The State Council, China's cabinet, is considering a 5-trillion-yuan ($758 billion) emerging energy industrial development plan. If approved, some 1.5 trillion yuan ($227 billion) of investment will flow into the wind-power sector.
PetroChina's oil, gas output tops 200 mln tonnes in 2010
China National Petroleum Corporation (PetroChina), the nation's largest oil and gas producer, said that its 2010 crude oil and gas output exceeded the equivalent of 200 million tons of oil. Specifically, domestic oil production hit 1.05 trillion tons, while gas was 72.5 billion cubic meters. The total amounted to 163 million tons of oil equivalent, up 3.6% year-on-year. Overseas oil production stood at 73.66 million tons, with gas reaching 10.5 billion cubic meters. The total was equal to 44.30 million tons of oil equivalent, up 14.4% year-on-year. Further, gas production maintained double-digit growth during the same period. In addition, oil pipelines were extended by 27,000 kilometers between 2006 and 2010.
US, Chinese firms to build world's largest solar plant
First Solar Inc, a US-based renewable energy company, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China Guangdong Nuclear Solar Energy Development Co Ltd (CGN SEDC) to jointly develop the world's largest solar power plant. First Solar, the world's largest maker of thin-film solar PV modules, said it will build a 2,000-megawatt (mW) solar power plant with its partners in Ordos, Inner Mongolia autonomous region in the next 10 years. The first phase of the project is to build a 30-mW production capacity plant. The rest of the project will be completed in three stages.
The Ordos project is the first large-scale solar collaboration between China and the United States, as well as an example of China-US bilateral cooperation on renewable energy. It will be the largest solar power plant in the world upon completion. Currently, the largest solar power plant is the Sarnia PV power plant with an 80-mW production capacity in Sarnia, Canada. According to First Solar, the construction of the first phase will start in 2011 and it expects to complete the construction of the 2,000-mW solar power plant by the end of 2020. The Ordos local government said it will provide equipment and service supports for the project.
China’s Hydropower capacity the World’s largest
As the Xiaowan Hydropower Station became operational last year in southwestern Yunnan Province, China's hydropower capacity became the world's largest. This new 700,000 kilowatt-unit is the second largest after the Three Gorges installation and increased China's installed hydropower capacity to above 200 million kilowatts. "The rapid development of the hydropower industry is of great significance to optimizing China's energy structure and reducing carbon emissions," said Sun Yucai, executive vice chairman of the China Electricity Council.
China also undertook a commitment to generate 15% of its power from non-fossil sources by 2020, up from the current 7.8%. As the most competitive non-fossil energy, hydropower was key for China to realize its emissions reduction goal set in Copenhagen. Zhang Guobao, director of the NEA, told Xinhua that hydro projects with another 70 million kilowatts capacity were under construction, and another 100 million kilowatts of capacity was needed.
Tim Weckesser is the President, CEO, and co-founder or Sino-Consulting (SCI) in Philadelphia, PA. His company has completed over 400 assignments for some 100 clients. Read more>>