For further enquiries or if you are interested to
learn more about how we can collaborate, please
contact us directly at:
Tel: +86 10 8447 7053
Fax: +86 10 8447 7058
Zhejiang DRC releases methods for competitive bidding of offshore wind projects
According to the notice, all projects that will undergo competition must be listed in the Zhejiang Offshore Wind Farm Project Planning Report, which has yet to be released. Projects subject to competition include two types:
For both types of projetson grid price accounts for a score of 40 pointsout of a total of100. (Zhejiang DRC)
Liaoning strives to reach PV installed capacity of 5GW in 2021
In the Liaoning PV Construction Plan Notice (2019-2021) released by the provincial DRC, it has been revealed that the 2021 target for PV installed capacity is 5.1GW. This reflects the province’s desire to take advantage of the lack of any serious PV curtailment problem in the region and therefore fully exploit PV capacity. The notice also emphasizes promoting investment in PV poverty alleviation projects in Northwest Liaoning. (PVNEWS)
Heilongjiang promotes nuclear, wind, hydrogen and smart grid development
The Heilongjiang Government has released the Strong Industrial Provinces Construction Plan (2019-2025). In regards to energy, the plan aims to strengthen the construction efforts of new energy service platforms, as well as encourage the development of production support services such as R&D and design, inspection and testing, and management consulting within the new energy industry. Specifically, emphasis was placed on promoting the R&D and application of nuclear energy, wind power, hydrogen energy and smart grids. (Heilongjiang GOV)
South Hebei power grid power trading to include all commercial users
The power trade on the South Hebei power grid is now fully open to commercial users. Prior to the opening of the power trade, only users with voltage levels above 10kV and annual power consumption above 10MWh were able to participate in direct trading, while those below 10MWh were required to entrust a trading company to act as their agent. Now, commercial users—which are power users in industries other than residential, agriculture, utilities and public welfare services—are no longer subject to such voltage level, power usage and general industry restrictions. (Hebei DRC)
Mingyang’s offshore wind turbine orders exceed 4GW
Mingyang has released its semi-annual performance forecast, declaring a half-year net profit of 290-350 million CNY, an increase of 99.19-140.4% year-on-year. The company also reported that its offshore wind turbine orders reached 4.18GW, and that its contract amount was about 26.949 billion CNY. Its offshore wind power orders were mostly concentrated in Guangdong and Fujian Provinces. It was also revealed that Mingyang has deployed three sea blade production bases in Guangdong and that by 2020, the production capacity of the MySE5.5MW series and above will reach 3.5GW. (Sina)
MySE6.0MW product line basic parameter
This piece was written by Azure CEO Hubert Beaumont to share his opinions on the potential opportunities and challenges for international companies entering the Chinese offshore wind market, as well as advice on a few basic things to think about before entering. This article is also featured in Global Wind Energy Council's (GWEC) Asia Newsletter Industry Pulse, where you can find the latest on wind energy news in Asia.
I must admit I have been surprised to see the wave of developers and investors suddenly moving into the Taiwanese offshore wind market over the past five years, bringing along with them a comprehensive supply chain, financing and several hundred westerners who have established their homes in Taipei or in coastal cities. This is certainly comforting as such an appetite for investing in offshore wind despite the risks inherent to emerging markets reaffirms that we have chosen a viable line of business, but it also makes one wonder: while Taiwan is a fantastic place and has great wind resource, it is, in term of size and opportunity, only a fraction of mainland China. Taiwan has a total offshore wind pipeline of 10GW, whereas last year Guangdong alone, which is one of 12 Chinese coastal provinces, approved 30GW in just two weeks. So why is there in comparison so little foreign participation in the Chinese renewable energy market? Of course, there are many answers to this question, including that China does not lack the capital to do it on its own, but I believe part of the answer also lies in the fact that China is just so big and so different than most investors are not confident enough to approach it. Yet we are seeing more and more signs of change; developers that are already established in Taiwan cannot ignore the big neighbor, the Chinese central and local governments have renewed interest to attract foreign capital, and SOEs can benefit from partnering with foreign developers with strong references and expertise. In order to seize these opportunities, foreign participants will need to understand the rules of the Chinese game. Here are a few basic principles that can give you a head start:
1. Most players are State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs)
The establishment of the current power market structure in China can be dated back to 2002, when State Power Group, which until then was the sole owner of a majority of the energy infrastructure in China, was divided into five power generation companies (the “big 5”) and two grid companies (China State Grid Corporation and China Southern Grid). Today the “big 5”, namely China Energy, Huaneng, Huadian, Datang and SPIC, own about half of all energy projects in China, and the remaining half is in majority distributed among a number of smaller (yet still huge) specialized state-owned enterprises (e.g. Three Gorges, CGN, SDIC, China Resources) and provincial state-owned energy groups (e.g. Guangdong Energy, Fujian Energy, Zhejiang Energy, etc.). Only a small portion of energy projects is owned by private or foreign companies.
The distribution is similar for offshore wind, as the approved pipeline is currently developed by state-owned players, with a few exceptions—in cases where either local entrepreneurs or private wind turbine manufacturers have been able to secure project rights.
2. The rules are made for them (the SOEs)
State-owned players have an intricate relationship with central and local governments; state policies are generally addressed to them and designed for them, and SOEs are in the front line for receiving information and explanations regarding policy, and in return, they influence and participate in policy drafting. While this is an advantage, SOEs also carry a number of disadvantages compared to private or foreign investors which we summarize below:
Electricity prices are also suited to them. Indeed, until the recent introduction of market trading mechanisms under the on-going power market reform, and still today for a majority of electricity produced and consumed on the grid, every single energy-related price in China has been calculated and fixed by state regulators, from production of energy using different types of technologies, to transmission across various distances and different voltage levels, to consumption of energy varying per type of consumer, connection voltage, location, time of day, etc. There are three general guiding principles used by regulators in defining energy prices:
Reasonable returns are typically defined as follows:
Given that prices are regulated for a large number of projects, individual project performance may vary from that constant. Returns may be tolerated below the reasonable benchmark, especially in areas where further investment is not encouraged such as in the coal sector in general or for wind and solar in regions facing heavy curtailment, but generally, losses are to be avoided. Similarly, returns on single projects may largely exceed these benchmarks as well. There are examples of onshore wind projects in Yunnan or offshore wind farms in Fujian with excellent wind resource, no curtailment, and high tariffs, which have yielded excellent returns.
Therefore a private investor working on a smaller pipeline may be able to cherry-pick the best project locations, spend more time and resources to optimize project design, implement higher standard O&M practices, etc., while at the same time benefitting from the same prices. This approach has proven successful onshore for a small number of private and foreign investors, while the key challenge remains the ability to compete with SOEs in securing such pipeline, except for those who have chosen to partner directly with them. For offshore wind, the opportunity to optimize projects will also depend on the ability to work closely with the unavoidable local design institutes, the only entities accredited to design projects.
3. The rules are stable or predictable
Renewable Energy is a fully-grown and mature market in China that is way beyond its first exploratory trials and surprises. While there is on-going reform affecting a number of key market drivers, we consider that the regulatory and legal environment for renewable energy investors is generally stable and predictable. Of course, there are still a number of considerable risks and challenges, such as those listed below:
4. China is huge, diverse and ripe with opportunities
While this extract provides a simplified illustration of how the Chinese energy market works, it is important to keep in mind that in fact, nothing in China is simple. There are tremendous forces at play. The central government has engaged in a battle to reduce grid monopoly, which is creating great waves within the markets. Meanwhile, local governments, as well as local branches of SOEs, are protecting their own interests, which all need to be understood in their respective contexts. Opportunities, risks, interlocutors, resources, costs and other factors affecting your business plan will vary greatly from one province to another. In order to be successful as an investor in China, you will need to carefully pick your areas of focus, your projects, teams, and partners, as well as develop an understanding of China at all levels of your organization.
At Azure International we have worked with foreign investors in the Chinese renewable space for over 15 years, including in both onshore and offshore wind, helping our clients and partners to assess markets, projects, and players in this complex environment. While the road has not always been straightforward for foreign investors, with many feeling left on the sidelines of a booming market essentially shared between locals, we currently see a new window with tremendous opportunity for foreign players, due to a combination of three trends. First, as the Chinese economy is slowing down, the country has realized the need to attract more foreign capital. Second, the offshore wind brings a set of new challenges compared to onshore, a context in which having an experienced foreign partner can be a strong competitive advantage. And finally, the regulatory environment for renewable energy in China is strong and mature and designed to provide stability to state-owned investors, thus creating a safe framework for various players to evolve in.
P.S: We are currently working on a publication that will detail the history and status of Chinese energy players, regulation and policy, with the aim of helping foreign investors to develop a detailed understanding of the market. Subscribe to our newsletter mailing list and we’ll be sure to send you a copy!
Zhangjiakou plans to establish a renewable energy power trading center
The Zhangjiakou Capital Water Conservation Functional Zone and Ecological Environment Supporting Zone Construction Plan for 2019-2035 has been introduced by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The notice specifies that Zhangjiakou will build a strong smart grid with high-quality on-site matching of renewable energy supply and demand. The document also reveals the province’s plans to establish of a renewable energy power trading center in Zhangjiakou to carry out market-based trading of renewable energy consumption in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. (NDRC)
Jing-jin-ji (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) coordinated development plan
NDRC reveals power spot market construction plan
The NDRC has revealed its plans for a spot market that will mainly carry out daily, intraday and real-time electricity energy transactions, which contrasts traditional power trading that carries out medium to long term transactions. According to the plan, the corresponding priority power generation of non-hydro renewable energy should then cover the number of guaranteed utilization hours. (NDRC)
Shandong accelerates construction of new energy projects
The Shandong Government has just rolled out a new measure to “vigorously expand the consumer market and accelerate the shaping of new advantages for the domestic demand-driven economy. In terms of energy, Shandong has pledged to speed up the construction of “Shandong power import” transmission projects, implement solar power generation demonstration projects, offshore wind projects, coastal nuclear power and coastal LNG import hubs, as well as launch the first pilot demonstration project for offshore wind power integration development. (Shandong GOV)
Changyi City Marine Ranch and 3-Gorges 300MW Offshore Wind Power Integration Test Demonstration Project
Data on 1H2019 show 26% of electricity consumed in China is generated by renewable energy
In the six months, China consumed 3400TWh of electricity, up 5% from the same time last year. The total electricity consumption in the east, central, west and northeast regions account for 47.0%, 19.1%, 27.9% and 6.0% of the nation-wide total electricity consumption, respectively. Electricity consumption in Qinghai, Gansu and Shanghai provinces decreased by 2.8%, 0.7% and 0.1%, while electricity consumption in the other 28 provinces grew at a rate that exceeded the national average.
In the first half of 2019, renewable energy has generated 888TWh of electricity, which means a growth of 14% year-on-year (YoY). Within this, 514TWh of electricity was generated by hydropower for an 11.8% YoY increase, 215TWh was generated by wind power for an 11.5% YoY increase, 107TWh was generated by photovoltaic (PV) power for a 30% YoY increase and 53TWh was generated by biomass power for a 21.3% YoY increase
Newly installed capacity for the first six months totaled 41GW, of which 1.8GW is hydropower, 9.1GW is wind power, 11.4GW is PV power and 1.3GW is nuclear power. Therefore, non-fossil energy generation has a significant share of 58.4% of newly installed capacity.
Moreover, progress in electrification has been further advanced. In recent years, the share of electricity in China's energy consumption has been steadily increasing. In the first half of the year, 98TWh of electric power had substituted fossil fuels, accounting for 2.9% of total electricity consumption of the whole society. By the end of June, a total of 1 million charging piles had been built across the country. In addition, according to data released by the China Charging Alliance, as of June 2019 China's EV to charging station ratio reached 3.5:1. Meanwhile, China has 2.81 million all-electric cars, which is 82% of the total number of new energy vehicles.
Source: Azure International, NEA, CEC, EVCIPA
New subsidy bidding mechanism brings average PV subsidy to 0.0645 CNY/kWh
As of the end of July 2019, the average subsidy for PV projects participating in the subsidy auction was 0.0645 CNY/kWh, which is down more than 50% compared to the guiding price. Since the new release of the Notice on the Active Promotion of Grid-Parity of Wind Power & PV Power Generation in May, a total of 23 provinces (except Jilin, Heilongjiang, Fujian, Hainan, Yunnan, Gansu, Xinjiang, Tibet and Xinjiang) organized 4,338 projects for the bidding of state subsidies for 24.56GW of PV power generation. According to Mr. Li Chuangjun, Chief of the New Energy Division of the National Energy Administration (NEA), a new mechanism has been established to both save subsidy funds and guarantee stable development of the industry. Comparing the demand for subsidies under the new bidding mechanism and that under the current guiding FIT, the demand can be reduced by 2.16 billion CNY per year, which can save the state 43 billion CNY based on a 20-year subsidy period, said Mr.Li at an NEA press conference at the end of July. (NEA)
National wind curtailment decreases 4% YoY in first half of 2019
From January to June 2019, national wind power generation capacity was 214.5TWh, an increase of 11.5% year-on-year (YoY). In the report released by the National Energy Administration (NEA), it was also revealed that during the six months the national average wind curtailment rate dropped to 4.7%, a 4% YoY decrease. (NEA)
1H2019 National wind curtailment distribution
Is the Spring finally here for foreign power battery makers?
The well-known Automotive Power Battery Industry Standard Conditions, also referred to as the “white list” of EV power battery, has been officially abolished by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) recently. The “white list” was introduced by the Chinese government in 2015 to help foster domestic battery makers by barring foreign brands from getting on the list. Under this document, EV manufacturers are only able to obtain state EV subsidies if they employ the power batteries of companies on the “white list.” As evidence, 57 Chinese battery manufacturers such as BYD, CATL and OptimumNano, among others, were enlisted, while not a single foreign brand made it onto the list. With such policy support, the total installed capacity of new EV power batteries in China amounted to 56.89GWh in 2018, a 56% YoY increase and a volume 2.4 times that of Japan and 3.6 times that of South Korea.
Among these domestic manufacturers, CATL and BYD occupied 61% of the power battery market share.
This might change soon, however. Samsung SDI, LG Chem and SKI, all which have been out of the Chinese market, have returned—and they don’t seem to waste any time. SKI has just signed a supply contract with Tianqi Lithium to acquire battery materials company Lingbao Huaxin, LG Chem has set up a JV with Huayou Cobalt, and Samsung SDI is restarting the Xi'an battery project. Even Panasonic jumped at the opportunity to significantly expand its power battery production capacity in Suzhou and Dalian. (Baidu, MIIT)
Coal Mine Gas and Shale Gas seize China’s REDF Subsidy
It has been known that the Renewable Energy Development Fund (REDF) supports the exploitation and utilization of unconventional natural gas such as coal mine gas, shale gas and dense gas, but reaffirmed lately by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in its announcement of the latest supplementary notice of the Interim Measures to Manage the Special Fund for Renewable Energy Development.
Beginning in 2019, subsidies will be paid according to the principle, "more production, more subsidies." Those who exceed the amount of production from the previous year will be rewarded an amount corresponding to the degree of excess, while subsidies will be deducted if mining fails to reach the previous year's yield. Meanwhile, the incremental part produced during heating season is incentivized by a higher subsidy.
As determined in the Interim Measures for the Management of Renewable Energy Development Fund Collection and Use, the REDF includes special funds arranged by the public budget of the MoF (hereinafter referred to as the Special Fund for Renewable Energy Development) and additional income from renewable energy tariffs levied on power users. Subsidies for the abovementioned exploitation of unconventional gas come from the Special Fund for Renewable Energy Development. (MoF)
Chongqing DRC introduces policy to up competitiveness of wind power industry
The Chongqing Development and Reform Commission (DRC) has rolled out a new policy aimed at honing in on scientific research to help develop the city's wind energy resources, further optimize resource allocation, maintain orderly market development, advance wind power technology and cost reduction, and promote overall high-quality development of the local wind power industry. (Chongqing DRC)
Sichuan launches pilot city for hydropower generation direct trading
By establishing and improving a new method of hydropower consumption in demonstration areas, the Sichuan Government is now focusing on “reducing electricity prices and encouraging multi-use” to form a win-win scenario in which they can have both maximum consumption of hydropower and sustainable development of key industries. The local government is also actively working on creating economic advantages from resource advantages found in the province. (Sichuan GOV)
Sichuan hydro direct trade pilot city
Yunnan 1H2019 “West to East” power trade report shows 38% increase
In 1H2019, Yunnan Province’s “West to East” power trade totaled 63.7TWh, an increase of 38.25% year-on-year (YoY). Notably, the sections of the Yunnan power grid that stretch over to Guangdong Province transmitted 40TWh, an increase of 61% YoY. Furthermore, the “Dianxibei to Guangdong” ±800kV UHVDC that began operating in May 2018 reached 10TWh, an increase of 278% YoY. (kmpex)
Hydro and Wind account for more than 85% of Datang Group’s 2018 profit
China’s Datang Group has released their 2018 Social Responsibility Report, which revealed a total profit of 9.6 billion CNY in 2018 for the corporation. Last year, the group's wind power installed capacity reached 16GW, with a generation of 32TWh, accounting for a profit of 3.3 billion CNY.Meanwhile, hydropower installed capacity reached 27GW, generating 98TWh and achieving a profit of 4.9 billion CNY. (Datang)
Huaneng Group and IMAR sign a strategic cooperation framework agreement for energy base construction
On July 23, Huaneng Group and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) Government signed an agreement declaring the two sides will jointly build a comprehensive clean energy delivery base and clean low-carbon self-use energy system in Inner Mongolia, as well as a leading domestic and international first-class wind, solar, coal, electricity and storage integration. The purpose of this joint initiative lies both in promoting clean, green, safe and efficient energy demonstration, and in promoting the development of a modern energy economy in IMAR. (Huaneng)
SPIC’s 2018 clean energy installed capacity close to half of total capacity
State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) has released their 2018 Social Responsibility Report. In 2018, SPIC’s total installed electric power capacity was 140GW, total coal production capacity was 80.59 million tons and total electrolytic aluminum production capacity was 2.514 million tons. The report also revealed that SPIC currently has two operating offshore wind farms and one under construction in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province. Moreover, the corporation also has 1,700MW of offshore wind projects approved in Jieyang, Guangdong Province. (SPIC)
Goldwind, CSIC and Jidian participate in "North China Hydrogen Valley" project
Goldwind, CSIC and Jidian (SPIC Jilin power) have signed an MoU with the Baicheng Energy Bureau laying out the planning and construction of wind energy hydrogen production integration demonstration projects, including wind farms, and hydrogen production and storage. Subsequently, Jidian is to expand the scale of wind energy hydrogen production according to market demand and participate in the construction and operation of Baicheng’s hydrogen energy industry throughout the whole industry chain. (dfcfw)
Jidian is a large-scale joint-stock enterprise engaged in power production in Jilin Province. It has two power generation branches, namely Minjiang and Erdaojiang. Its power generation accounts for 14.92% of the electricity consumption in Jilin Province and its heat supply accounts for 80% and 100% in Tonghua and Baishan, respectively.
NEA issues Typhoon Damage Prevention Guidance for the Power Industry
The National Energy Administration (NEA) recently issued a "Guidance for the Power Industry to Prevent and Respond to Typhoon Disasters." The NEA requires all power generation companies to strictly implement practices and measures to prepare for typhoons and other natural disasters. Nuclear power plants should prioritize nuclear safety, and plan for an emergency power supply and other operational maintenance to guarantee internal operation in case of an external power cut. Coal-fired power plants need to be prepared with a sufficient reserve of fuels and should work to enhance the plants’ safety. Wind farms should closely monitor and protect wind turbines from high risks, and PV stations should ensure fixation of equipment and undertake anti-flooding measures. (NEA)
China consumes 3.4 trillion kWh in first half of 2019, an increase of 5.0% YoY
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has released a report on power generation and consumption for the first half of 2019. National power generation increased by 3.3% year-on-year (YoY), of which thermal power increased by 0.2%, hydropower by 11.8%, nuclear power 23.1%, wind power 6.6% and solar power 11.2%. Over the six-month period, the country's total electricity consumption reached 3.4 trillion kWh, an increase of 5.0% YoY. (NDRC)
Yunnan: Interdiction to build Wind and PV projects in National Wetland Parks
The Yunnan Development and Reform Commission (DRC) recently issued the "Announcement on the Implementation Rules (trial) of the Guide to the Unfavorable Industries in the Development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt in Yunnan Province", which states that any construction project or development activity such as real estate, resorts, golf courses, wind power generation and photovoltaic power generation or other that does not conform with the main function of the area is prohibited within National Wetland Parks. (Yunnan DRC)
Sichuan onshore wind power FIT drops to 0.47 CNY/kWh in 2020
The Sichuan Provincial DRC has issued the “Notice on the Implementation of the Wind Power Feed-in Tariff Policy (2019)No.295”. The FITs of newly approved centralized onshore wind projects are determined by bidding competition and should not be higher than the guiding price of the resource area where the project is located. Sichuan has adjusted the guiding price for the year 2020 to 0.47 CNY/kWh (including tax). The policy also states that Sichuan Province is a type IV resource area for onshore wind power. Onshore wind power projects that were newly approved in 2019 and that are in line with government planning and admitted to financial subsidy planning can still enjoy a guiding price of 0.52 CNY/kWh (including tax). (Sichuan DRC)
China launches first jack-up vessel with 1300t leg encircling crane
Tiejianfengdian01, a jack-up vessel for offshore wind turbine installation owned by CRCC Harbour and Channel Engineering Bureau Group, was launched in Qidong on July 19. The vessel is 105m long, 42m wide with 8.5m moulded depth and 85m leg length. The maximum water depth for operation is 50m and maximum endurance is 3000 nautical miles. The vessel is equipped with a 1300t leg encircling crane, the largest in China; a frequency conversion control system, a DP2 system that can help resist level16 typhoon (super typhoon); and an IHC S-3000 hydraulic hammer, also the largest of its kind in China. (people.cn)