Development of renewable energy in China 1

New developments in the renewable energy sector have become public in China recently. The following gives a short overview of changed targets or new projects of different renewable energy technologies.

Offshore wind

In order to reach the target of 5 GW of installed offshore wind energy capacity by the end of 2015, the National Energy Administration (NEA) released a list of offshore wind projects in the end of 2014. Projects with 10.5 GW of capacity are to be approved within the next 2 years. Out of these projects, two have been completed. Nine projects with a total capacity of 1702 MW are under construction and six projects with an additional 1540 MW are approved and construction is about to begin. China’s goal for 2020 is to have 10 GW of offshore wind operational (NEA 1).

Solar PV

The target of China to install 17.8 GW of solar PV in 2015 was already ambitious and if successful would translate to a 70% increase of installed capacity year-on-year (10.6 GW in 2014). In addition this would mean that by the end of 2015 roughly 45 GW of solar PV would have been installed in China, representing approximately 3% of the entire power generation capacity of the country (AECEA). In a notice in September this year, the NEA announced that 5.3 GW of capacity are to be added to the initial target of 17.8 GW (NEA 2).

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)

In recognition that the CSP industry did not develop as fast as anticipated, the NEA released a notice in September 2015. It calls for the implementation of CSP demonstration projects by provincial departments of the Development and Reform Commissions in cooperation with the NEA in areas with a direct normal insolation (DNI) of more than 1600 kwh/m2. The projects can be either tower or trough based, but individual capacities of projects are to exceed 50 MW (NEA 3).

Pumped-hydro energy storage (PHES)

By 2017 China’s PHES capacity is expected to reach 33 GW. This has the potential to increase local grid flexibility and thus might also reduce the high curtailment of renewable energy in those regions. Currently 16.7 GW of capacity is installed and promising projects with a capacity of 4.8 GW are being developed in the city of Chengde in Hebei province (1.8 GW), the city of Weihai in Shandong province (1.8 GW) and in the city of Chongqing (1.2 GW). Those plants are to be completed and in operation by 2022 (CEC).

The article also appeared on the Chinese European Energy News portal of Energy Brainpool.

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