Na­tion’s switch to clean en­ergy seen pow­ered by pol­icy ini­tia­tives

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By MENG FANBIN meng­fan­bin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated by clean en­ergy re­sources in China is ex­pected to grad­u­ally in­crease over the next few years, pow­ered by in­no­va­tive gov­ern­ment poli­cies and mea­sures, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try ex­perts.

“China has launched a se­ries of pro­grams for the devel­op­ment of clean en­ergy, ef­fec­tively al­le­vi­at­ing the de­mand for ther­mal coal,” said Feng Haicheng, an an­a­lyst at Sub­lime China In­for­ma­tion Group.

The coun­try’s top eco­nomic reg­u­la­tor will ac­cel­er­ate the re­form of the na­tional elec­tri­cal power sys­tem, to­gether with re­lated gov­ern­ment depart­ments, and de­velop a pri­or­ity plan for clean en­ergy power gen­er­a­tion, Na­tional Devel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion spokesman Yan Pengcheng said on Tues­day.

At the end of last year, the Na­tional En­ergy Ad­min­is­tra­tion is­sued a num­ber of plans on the fu­ture devel­op­ment of wind power, so­lar power and re­new­able en­ergy.

The plans cov­ered prac­ti­cal meth­ods for clean en­ergy devel­op­ment, Feng said.

“For ex­am­ple, wind power-gen­er­ated elec­tric­ity should be trans­ferred to Cen­tral and East China, and South China,” she said.

By the end of 2016, the in­stalled power ca­pac­ity of re­new­able en­ergy re­sources was 570 mil­lion kilowatts, ac­count­ing for 35 per­cent of the to­tal power gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity, statis­tics showed.

In re­cent years, China’s wind power and pho­to­voltaic power pro­duc­tion has grown rapidly, al­though some prob­lems ex­ist, such as high costs, less de­vel­oped in­fra­struc­ture and lo­cal pro­tec­tion­ism.

“To solve the high cost of wind power and hy­dropower gen­er­a­tion, at the start of the year China launched green power cer­tifi­cates, de­signed to en­cour­age all the so­ci­ety to be more in­volved in green elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion,” Feng said.

The cer­tifi­cates form a vol­un­tary sub­scrip­tion sys­tem for elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated from re­new­able en­ergy. Com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als with so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity and the en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious can buy the cer­tifi­cate to pro­mote the use of clean en­ergy.

“Af­ter one or two years of tests, the sys­tem is ex­pected to re­place the State’s sub­si­dies pol­icy,” she said.

Yan from the NDRC also said on Tues­day that the com­mis­sion would ex­pand the scale of clean en­ergy trans-pro­vin­cial trade, help­ing over­come re­gional pro­tec­tion­ism.

“A large amount of the elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated by wind and so­lar en­ergy re­sources comes from western China, but it is the prov­inces in Cen­tral and East China which lack elec­tric­ity,” Feng said.

As a re­sult, con­struc­tion of in­fra­struc­ture such as high-volt­age ca­bles and the trans-prov­ince trade had be­come es­pe­cially im­por­tant for the devel­op­ment of clean en­ergy, she added.

“The to­tal amount of elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated from clean en­ergy sources like wind, so­lar and water en­ergy in the first half of the year in­creased 5.15 per­cent year-on-year, the equiv­a­lent to a 22 mil­lion met­ric ton re­duc­tion in ther­mal coal con­sump­tion,” Yan told a news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing on Tues­day.

Clean en­ergy ac­counted for 27.2 per­cent of China’s to­tal power out­put in the first half, up 1.8 per­cent­age points year-on-year, he said.

Elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated in the first half by wind power in­creased 25.7 per­cent year-on-year, so­lar power jumped 80.3 per­cent, and nu­clear power grew 20.8 per­cent, while hy­dropower pro­duc­tion de­clined, he said.

China con­sumed 979 mil­lion tons of coal for power gen­er­a­tion in the first half of this year, ac­cord­ing to data from Sub­lime China In­for­ma­tion Group.

The NDRC spokesman said he ex­pected a fur­ther rise in clean power out­put in the com­ing months, with the coun­try’s braced for its sea­sonal peak elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion pe­riod.

Al­though hy­dropower out­put had seen neg­a­tive growth in the first five months, Yan es­ti­mated that it would be near record high lev­els in July, with the on­set of the sum­mer rainy sea­son.

The to­tal amount of elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated from clean en­ergy sources like wind, so­lar and water en­ergy in the first half of the year in­creased 5.15 per­cent year-on-year.” Yan Pengcheng, NDRC spokesman

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