Wind and so­lar power to get boost

Sev­eral re­gions will be part of pi­lot pro­gram as re­form deep­ens

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By LAN LAN lan­lan@chi­

TheNa­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion, the coun­try’s top eco­nomic reg­u­la­tor, said onWed­nes­day that China, the world’s largest elec­tric­ity con­sumer, will elim­i­nate ob­sta­cles to the use of wind and so­lar power by deep­en­ing re­form of the elec­tric­ity sec­tor.

Although the ca­pac­ity for wind and so­lar energy has grown mas­sively in China in re­cent years, ef­fec­tive use of clean energy re­mains a chal­lenge due to slower growth in de­mand as well as the rel­a­tively lower costs of coalpower gen­er­a­tion.

Lian Weil­iang, deputy di­rec­tor of the NDRC, told China Daily on Wed­nes­day that the coun­try will se­lect a few re­gions for a pi­lot pro­gram to carry out com­pre­hen­sive re­form of the elec­tric­ity sec­tor and im­prove ef­fec­tive use of wind and so­lar power.

“Wind and so­lar power ca­pac­ity has grown quickly in China, but mak­ing ef­fec­tive use of re­new­able energy re­quires putting a host of tech­ni­cal mea­sures and sup­port ef­forts from the power grids in place, as well as im­ple­ment­ing some re­form plans,” Lian said.

China has started build­ing a plat­form for elec­tric­ity trad­ing, al­low­ing the mar­ket to set the price of elec­tric­ity, Lian said.

Zhao Yongqiang, a re­searcher at the China Na­tional Re­new­able Energy Cen­ter, said such steps could en­sure that re­new­able energy gains a pri­or­ity po­si­tion in de­vel­op­ment and ful­fills the mar­ket-ori­ented trans­for­ma­tion of the power sys­tem.

The coun­try has set a goal of in­creas­ing its share of non­fos­sil fu­els in pri­mary energy con­sump­tion to about 20 per­cent by 2030. How­ever, the power grids still give pri­or­ity to coal-pow­ered plants, leav­ing wind and so­lar power with in­suf­fi­cient trans­mis­sion ca­pac­ity and other tech­ni­cal prob­lems.

In the first six months of this year, more than 15 per­cent of the elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated from wind power in China was un­used, a 6.8 per­cent in­crease year-on-year.

Sim­i­larly, about 1.8 bil­lion kilo­watt-hours of elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated from so­lar power also was un­used, mainly in North­west China, in­clud­ing Gansu province and the Xin­jiangUygu­rau­tonomous­re­gion.

Weak de­mand for elec­tric­ity also con­trib­utes to the prob­lem of un­used power. China’s elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion, a gauge of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity, grew by 1 per­cent year-on-year in the first eight months of the year, par­tic­u­larly af­fected by the shrink­ing de­mand of in­dus­tries.

The NDRC an­nounced de­tailed plans for its first pi­lot plan for elec­tric­ity trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion tar­iff re­forms in Shen­zhen, and the pi­lot pro­gram has been ex­panded to seven re­gions, said Lian from the NDRC.

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