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CSIC receives government funding for floating wind demonstration
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has recently publicized “Development of Offshore Floating Wind Power Equipment,” a proposed research project of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC). The project is designed to explore the development of high-tech ships and high-power offshore floating wind power by carrying out research on key technologies and overall design of offshore floating wind power equipment, manufacturing, commissioning of mooring systems and applications at sea. (BJX)
With the project encompassing efforts to implement the “Made in China 2025” plan, promote the implementation of strategic emerging offshore engineering projects and improve the level of R&D and design of high-performing equipment in China, it is clear that China is looking to increase self-reliance by promoting large-scale domestic production. Currently, few foreign firms have development rights in China, but it is interesting to note that in late 2018 China seemed more open to the idea of using foreign aid to speed up development in deep-sea wind power. This could be due to prospects that the new policy effective January 1, which subjects all large-scale wind farm development to power price competitive bidding, will put a greater emphasis on the need for cost reduction.
PetroChina to build 23 new natural gas storage facilities by 2030
According to China Petroleum News, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and relevant oil and gas enterprises gathered in Beijing on January 9 to discuss PetroChina’s 2019-2030 underground gas storage construction and deployment plan. There, the various parties signed an agreement that delegated responsibilities accordingly, and it was disclosed that PetroChina would expand ten natural gas storage projects and build 23 new ones by 2030. (The Paper)
From the winter of 2017 to the spring of 2018, tight supply of natural gas in China raised concerns about insufficient domestic gas storage capacity. According to international standards, the working volume of underground gas storage must exceed 12% of consumption if dependence on natural gas reaches or exceeds 30%. In 2017, the country’s natural gas dependence was close to 40%, and in 2018 exceeded 40%, but its gas storage capacity was far from meeting the standards. China’s geological conditions pose the greatest challenge to building large-scale economical and efficient natural gas storage facilities.
Shaanxi DRC releases direct electricity trading results
The Shaanxi Development and Reform Commission (DRC) has released the results for the direct electricity trading between centralized heating users in Shaanxi Province during the winter of 2018-2019. On October 26, 2018, the committee organized 16 direct-transmission power generation enterprises, 33 power sales companies and 412 users to participate, resulting in a total electricity turnover of 1.05TWh (0.329TWh in 2018 and 0.676TWh in 2019). Within this number, 0.889TWh is attributed to industrial and commercial users, and 0.107TWh to other industries. The average transaction price for industrial and commercial users was 321.4CNY/MWh, making the average price difference from other industries 23.45CNY/MWh. (Shaanxi DRC)
Note that this list of participants is not exhaustive and represents only a small sample from the experiment. We present this table to demonstrate how thermal power plants are still the major players in direct electricity trading.
As Azure had previously forecasted, while the direct power trading mechanisms introduced over the past few years were initially expected to have a positive impact in helping integrate clean energy, it is more likely that large coal power plants will continue to dominate the market in the beginning. As we can see from this experiment, the majority of direct electricity traded was still coal-generated electricity.
Shanghai Temple-Shandong ±800kV UHV DC line starts operating
On January 11, the Shanghai Temple-Shandong ±800kV UHV Direct Current (DC) project, conducted by State Grid Shandong Electric Power, successfully completed 168 hours of trial operation. The UHV DC line passes through Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei, Henan and Shandong provinces over a total distance of 1,230km at a rated transmission capacity of 10GW. At present, only two UHV lines, in Weinan and Qingzhou, have a full-load transmission capacity as high as 20GW. (BJX)
Jiangsu DRC approves 24 offshore wind power projects
On December 28, 2018 the Jiangsu DRC approved 24 offshore wind power projects with a total installed capacity of 6,700MW and a total investment of 122.3 billion CNY. (Offshore wind)
The news comes right after the NEA’s announcement that projects approved in 2019 will be subject to competitive on-grid price bidding, and can be seen as local governments’ last-ditch attempts to obtain feed-in tariffs (FIT). The FIT price was not stated, so it is unknown whether or not these projects will actually be receiving them.