Clean en­ergy cen­ter pow­ers ahead

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHENG JINRAN

Zhangji­akou has the best air qual­ity of any city in north­ern China, but as well as hav­ing clean air it also is a ma­jor sup­plier of clean en­ergy.

The out­put from its wind and so­lar power in­stal­la­tions helps to feed the grow­ing de­mand for en­ergy from neigh­bor­ing Beijing.

Zhangji­akou started to build three new con­vert­ing sta­tions, which change DC cur­rent to AC cur­rent, and four trans­mis­sion lines lastMarch.

They will help to smooth out the dis­tri­bu­tion of power to the cap­i­tal and other ci­ties and re­duce the num­ber of wind gen­er­a­tion hours wasted be­cause of limited trans­mis­sion ca­pac­ity.

“Zhangji­akou has grown into a ma­jor cen­ter for wind and so­lar power gen­er­a­tion,” said Shen Quan­min, di­rec­tor of the city’s eco­nomic plan­ner, the de­vel­op­ment and re­form com­mis­sion. “The in­stalled ca­pac­ity reached 6.5 mil­lion kilo­wat­tat the end of 2014.”

Zhangji­akou ac­counts for 4.6 per­cent of the coun­try’s to­tal land­based wind power re­sources. The clear skies en­able the city to gen­er­ate so­lar en­ergy for 1,500 to 1,600 hours ev­ery year, the sec­ond high­est level na­tion­wide.

The city has at­tracted in­vest­ment from both the gov­ern­ment and com­pa­nies wish­ing to ex­ploit green re­sources as the coun­try works to cut its green­house gas emis­sions.

The largest of hun­dreds of projects that have been es­tab­lished is a na­tional pi­lot hy­brid plant set up in 2009 with a to­tal in­vest­ment of 9.5 bil­lionyuan($1.5 bil­lion). The project uti­lizes wind and so­lar power jointly, and since the first phase was com­pleted in2011, the plan­thas­trans­mit­ted 770 mil­lionkWhof green power.

The project has be­come the largest so­lar power cen­ter in the world, and the first to trans­mit 1 mil­lion kW of power in China.

“The tech­nolo­gies used by the plant for wind-pho­to­voltaic hy­brid gen­er­a­tion, power stor­age and other re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties are the most ad­vanced in the world,” said Shen.

The power gen­er­ated from wind ac­counted for only 2.5 per­cent of the coun­try’s en­tire out­put in 2013. How­ever, the wind and so­lar power in­dus­tries are likely to ex­pe­ri­ence a boom as the cam­paign to re­duce air pol­lu­tion con­tin­ues.

The Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion said last April that by this year, wind power would ac­count for 10 per­cent of elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion on the Beijing-Tian­jinTang­shan grid, a ma­jor part of the na­tional grid serv­ing­north­ernChina.

The fig­ure will rise to 15 per­cent by 2017, the top na­tional eco­nomic plan­ner said.

Shortly after th­ese pro­jec­tions were re­leased, Zhangji­akou finalized a huge con­tract in­volv­ing in­vest­ment of 90 bil­lion yuan in a so­lar power project.

Many plants in Zhangji­akou have in­creased their ca­pac­ity. For ex­am­ple, Guo­hua En­ergy In­vest­ment Co plans to build more wind-pho­to­voltaic hy­brid plants in the city as well as else­where in He­bei, rais­ing its to­tal in­stalled ca­pac­ity to 2 mil­lion kWh by 2020.

Zhang Fan, as­sis­tant to the cor­po­ra­tion’s gen­eral man­ager, said, “Our ex­pan­sion is based on a pos­i­tive view of the city and the promis­ing fu­ture of the wind-pho­to­voltaic hy­brid in­dus­try.”

How­ever, the city’s limited trans­mis­sion ca­pac­ity has re­stricted the rapid growth of green power and cut the prof­its of power plants. An­nual prof­its fell to around 10 per­cent of to­tal rev­enues last year, the low­est level in the past decade, Zhang said.

A pri­vate wind power plant found it im­pos­si­ble to make any profit.

Liu Mingwu, deputy man­ager of He­bei Hua­dian Guyuan Wind Power, said, “We missed out on prof­its of at least 120 mil­lion yuan last year dur­ing pe­ri­ods when we stopped gen­er­at­ing power after we were given no­tice that the grid could not take our out­put.”

At other times, the company gen­er­ated power but was un­able to sell it to the coun­try be­cause of the limited trans­mis­sion ca­pac­ity.

It is ex­pen­sive to store power be­causeof the­hugein­vest­ment­needed to set up the nec­es­sary fa­cil­i­ties.

The new con­vert­ing sta­tions and trans­mis­sion lines will in­crease the city’s ca­pac­ity by 2 mil­lion kWh an­nu­ally.

Liu added, “As long as we have smooth trans­mis­sion chan­nels, we will invest more in wind and so­lar power.”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The wind field

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