Welcome to Azure International

Azure International is a leading investment and advisory company focused on China's cleantech energy sector. Founded in 2003, we have a team of 20+ local and international professionals based in China with backgrounds in engineering, marketing, manufacturing, consulting, policy, government relations and finance. In addition to deep advisory capabilities in renewable energy, energy efficiency, carbon management, and energy finance, we have proven capability to invest in and accelerate the development of clean energy companies.  Our portfolio and partner companies have achieved both significant commercial success and returns to investors. Azure provides the necessary expertise and execution capabilities in China to lead relationship development with government and strategic partners, project execution, sourcing, sales and technology development – all with deep understanding of Chinese and international requirements.

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Azure International

Tel: +86 10 8447 7053

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E-mail: info@azure-international.com

News Summary:

  • NDRC announces new minimum utilization hours insurance for renewable energy
  • REN21 publishes global status of renewable energy for 2015 year in review
  • NDRC and NEA announce 2016 to 2030 energy technology innovation plan
  • Twelve electricity trading centers opened in May across nation for direct trading deals

Finance: NDRC Announces New “Insurance” on Renewable Energy Utilization Hours
The NDRC announced a financial guarantee to wind and solar power plants who fail to meet minimum utilization hours in the year due to manmade events (curtailment). The pricing is benchmarked to the on-grid price times the number of guaranteed utilization hours, shown in the tables below. (NDRC CN)
The new policy may have sweeping implications across the renewable energy industry in China. Many wind and solar power producers have felt the pressure of high-level curtailment rates in the 30% range for the past few years, and have considered selling their investments due to a lack of financial protection during curtailment events. Now, for the first time ever, a sort of “insurance” policy has been set in place to allow renewable energy plants to continue to operate in an otherwise uncertain economic and market environment.
While this may be positive thinking, it will be interesting to see what happens if curtailment rates and an overcapacity year eat into the cash reserves the NDRC will undoubtedly have to put aside to support this new policy. Azure maintains a state-of-the-art grid curtailment modeler that can forecast curtailment rates throughout China, and we suspect this new policy to have a positive impact on our wind and solar plant investment clients.
Wind Power Utilization Hours Guarantee by Resource Type, Region/Area, and Hours

Solar Power Utilization Hours Guarantee by Resource Type, Region/Area, and Hours

Source: NEA, NDRC, Azure International

Renewables: REN21 Publishes Renewable Global Status Report for 2015 Year in Review
Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, otherwise known as REN21, published its 2015 year in review report. The 272 page report covers investment, policy, market, industry, and trends worldwide. As shown in the table below, China scored number one in many of the ranking categories. Internationally, the push for renewables added a staggering 147 GW of new renewable energy generation capacity in 2015. Notable statistics for 2015 include:

  • 87% of the world's population have power sector regulation policies
  • 50% and 73% of the world's population have heating/cool and transportation policies, respectively
  • 285 billion USD new investments 
  • 785GW total renewable capacity excluding hydro, 1,849 GW including hydro 
  • The full report can be found at the following link. (REN21 EN)

China is often thought of for its large installed capacity of wind and solar, however, many forget it also has many other innovative areas, including hydro, solar hot water heating, and geothermal. The table below reflects China's multi-pronged approach to renewable energy dominance.


Source: REN21
Policy: NDRC and NEA Announce 2016-2030 Energy Technology Innovation Plan
The NDRC and NEA announced a new technology innovation plan for 2016 to 2030. The research areas include increasing utilization of solar, large-scale wind power technology innovation, low-carbon technologies, and more. (NDRC CN)
As China's economy matures, it is shifting from a “get-it-built” attitude to a “optimize-the-assets” attitude. The new innovation plan is one of many policies focused around integration and extracting efficiencies of the existing grid infrastructure. 
Policy:  Twelve More Electricity Trading Centers Opening Across Nation for Direct Trading Deals
China opened 12 provincial-level electricity trading centers in May, for a total of 22 centers opened since late 2015. The largest trading center has 60 million RMB in registered capital and is located in Liaoning province, on the northwest border with North Korea. Most trading centers have between 30 million and 50 million RMB in registered capital. (BJX CN)
There is still no word on the volume of trading deals flowing through the trading centers, however, we expect to see new trends arise from these trading centers over the course of 2016. 


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