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Parque eólico de Gamesa en China /Gamesa's wind farm in China

2018 is deemed the year of change for renewables development in China. The National Energy Administration (NEA) has released a series of regulations with an impact on wind and solar, which are likely to change the industry in the coming years. A set of new rules entitled 2018 Wind Farm Construction and Management Rules were released by the government in late May introducing auctioning system in China, which means an end to the era of feed-in tariffs for future wind projects. From 2019, all large-scale on- and offshore wind farms will be subjected to a process of competitive tenders, with bids based on construction costs as well as power prices. The tariff for each project must not exceed the level set by the government.

Under the 13th Five Year Plan, all Chinese provinces are obliged to provide the government with a Provincial Wind Development Plan every year. Projects that were included in the 2017-2018 provincial wind development plans won’t be affected by the new auctioning rule. Also, decentralized projects, most of which are consumed locally and are transmitting on the distributing grid not on the transmission grid, won’t be affected and will continue to benefit from the FIT.

The NEA has communicated on various occasions that wind projects should reach grid parity by 2020. The FIT was adjusted three times during 2014-2016, resulting in a surge of installations of more than 30 GW in 2016. This is the major reason behind the push for the auctioning process. The FIT has been collected via a surcharge charged on each TWh of electricity produced and pulled into a renewables fund. This fund had a deficit of 100 billion RMB at the end of 2017.

The change from feed-in tariffs to auctions will bring both challenges and opportunities. Challenges because competition will be fierce and tariff price will be driven down. This cost squeeze will be passed on to the whole supply chain.

However, this means that the developers will be more focused on the long term levelized cost of energy (LCOE), rather than on IRR (internal rate of return) which was the case previously when the tariff was fixed. So attention is likely to switch from looking for turbine manufacturers with cheaper turbines to those who can provide a full set of service for the whole lifecycle of a project and those who have the lowest LCOE. This is a change that will benefit the industry in the long run, this change is long overdue.

At the same time the auctioning will help creating a fair allocation of the “developing rights” to developers with the most competitive technical solution, where previously in some provinces the rule for the allocation of developing rights was not clear; companies with close government connection got developing rights which they then sold to developers. This increased the cost of project development; or in some cases, turbine manufacturers were requested to build local manufacturing facilities to be able to access the market, which led to overcapacity and unfair competition. The new auction rule will to a large extent let the market determine how the resources will be allocated, which is a huge improvement to the current situation and can greatly cut many “gray area” costs incurred in project development in the past.

Liming Qiao
China Director, GWEC

Source: GWEC

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In 2017, CSP reached a global installed capacity of 5.1 GW. According to the IEA, that figure is expected to grow to 10 GW by 2022, with almost all new capacity incorporating storage. Worldwide, 23 countries currently have CSP projects. While the largest installed capacities are in the USA and Spain, there are CSP plants in operation or under development in numerous other countries, including the UAE, Egypt, Israel, India, China, South Africa, Chile, Mexico, Australia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In September 2016, China launched its first batch of CSP pilot projects and although this batch is progressing slower than expected, as CSP Focus reported earlier this year, China’s National Energy Administration has indicated that according to the construction status of the first batch of CSP pilot projects, China will launch a second batch of pilot projects in future.

In recent years, the Chinese CSP industry has made great progress and some positive changes are taking place. Through years of study and practice, China has successfully built commercial CSP plants like the SUPCON 10 MW tower CSP plant and the Shouhang 10 MW molten salt tower CSP plant. The local value chain is maturing and is making a great contribution to several traditional industries including chemicals, iron and steel, engineering and construction.

111 CSP projects with a total capacity of 9 GW took part in the application of China’s first batch of 20 1,349 GW CSP pilot projects in September 2016. Almost 18 months have now passed, however the projects corresponding to this first batch of pilot CSP projects in China are progressing more slowly than expected, and only a few can be completed by the end of 2018. However, we should not pass judgment regarding the future of China’s CSP industry simply from the completion of the first batch of pilot projects. The reason why the government is encouraging the development and construction of these initial pilot CSP projects is to verify the technology and feasibility of CSP project implementation and cultivate a local CSP industrial value chain, as well as to explore and set up a supporting regulatory mechanism. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018

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With the launch of China 1st batch of 20 pilot CSP projects and the FiT of RMB 1.15/kWh, China turns to be one of the most attractive CSP markets in the world.

After 1 year previous preparation and construction, the 1st batch of 20 pilot CSP projects are steadily progressing. Part of projects move slowly because of some problems like land, financing, official approval and project economics accounting.

Being a late starter in CSP industry, China is lack of experience in project bidding, design and construction. As a result, large-scale project commissioning and O&M will be major challenges for those projects which are expected to be completed soon next year.

Another China CSP boom coming soon

China low labor and manufacturing cost and increasing input in core technology R&D facilitate cost reduction of global CSP industry.

Based on 5 GW CSP deployment target in the 13th Five-year plan, the 2nd batch CSP pilot project is expected to be initiated in the near term. Recently, some companies start the previous preparation for the next pilot projects. It’s predicted that China CSP Industry will enter into another explosive development soon.

2018 will be a crucial year for China CSP prosperity and CSP Focus China 2018 to be held in Beijing between 22th and 23 th of March is glad to be the witness.

2018 is key to China CSP industry. It’s necessary to summarize the current status of the 1st batch of 20 pilot CSP projects, experience and problems during the construction and prepare for the next batch of CSP projects.

Hot topics of the event

• In-depth policy analysis. Discover the 2nd batch demo projects deployment strategy and relevant supportive policy.
• Experience of project O&M. Learn from overseas mature project O&M knowledge to serve demo projects
• Cost reduction trend. Discuss reasons for cost dropping trend in recent years.
• Technology upgrading & innovation. Excavate future CSP development direction and business opportunities.
• Key components show. Exhibition of reliable equipment, components and services.

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With 20 CSP projects in the first phase of China’s five-year plan, the world’s largest electricity producer and consumer paves the way for taking the driver seat of large-scale solar-thermal power generation. Though China’s well-established manufacturing capacity helps foster technology deployment, lack of CSP experience and technology know-how remains a challenge to successfully meet time and cost commitments.

International market-players are being consulted in order to share CSP experience from established markets and ultimately to help design plants that will meet low price levels and tight project deadlines. According to the plan, RMB1.15/kWh (around USD 16.55 cents) feed-in-tariffs (FiT) are confirmed for those projects that are completed and operational before the end of 2018.

 

Reaching low FiT levels touches upon CAPEX, OPEX and performance issues. New markets, however, tend to mistakenly confuse low tariffs with reduced CAPEX levels as they lack operational experience. It is therefore essential that China recognizes long-term cost saving benefits of operational features when selecting technologies that they will commit to for the next 25-years”, suggests Jens Taggart Pelle, Vice President of Technical Sales, CSP Power Plant division of Aalborg CSP.

Poor component quality naturally leads to operational failures, contributing to inevitable repair work and unwanted plant stoppages as a result. Mistakes should therefore be avoided in the earliest project development stages by placing high performance guarantees on component suppliers” – adds Mr. Pelle.

As the demonstration plants are expected to deliver about 1 GWe with 4-16 hour storage capacities, it is not surprising that molten salt tower and parabolic trough plants dominate the list due to the heat transfer media’s ability to achieve up to 565˚C degrees. This high-temperature benefit, however, also puts high demands on component reliability. CSP plants have a cyclic operational time, depending when the sun is able to power the plant. Therefore, there are frequent system starts and stops and these load changes cause variations in molten salt flow that the components are expected to seamlessly react on.

“The key to avoid operational headaches with molten salt plants is to ensure that equipment, that are in direct contact with the heat transfer media, support frequent load changes. Steam generators, for instance, therefore must be resistant to thermal stress as well as support easy draining to avoid molten salt crystallization. Aalborg CSP’s SGS4 steam generation system was designed to provide molten salt plants with high gradient performance. It also comes with an automatic venting feature and reduced amount of valves in order avoid operational risks and also to minimize CAPEX of the system” – explains Mr. Pelle.

Aalborg CSP will join the dialogue with China’s power sector at the CSP Focus 2017 conference in Beijing.

Source: Aalborg CSP

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Renovalia Energy relies on Enertis Solar, Spanish firm specialized in providing consultancy, technical assessment and engineering services for solar projects, for the quality control services of a supply of photovoltaic modules. The supply is of a total of 6MW of multicrystalline modules and will be used as PV generators in two photovoltaic plants located in Chile.

In order to ensure the correct functioning of the PV modules, Enertis has performed pre-shipment inspection and lab testing devoted to check the quality of the final products before its shipment and delivery to Renovalia. Quality assurance of PV Modules requires a quality control starting at the acquisition and manufacturing stages to guarantee their compliance with the industry standards and their proper functioning under particular conditions of specific locations.  It is also important to carry out a revision of raw material and traceability in order to reduce risk damage.

The pre-shipment inspection and lab testing of the modules before the shipping are measures to ensure that the modules meet the quality standards.

This new contract sums up to Enertis’ hundreds of MW expertise track record in advising different players in the acquisition of PV modules. Since 2007 the company has offered its services to different clients in the processes of acquiring PV Modules, including manufacturing, pre-installation and guarantee performance inspections.

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Gamesa, a global technology leader in wind energy, has had its G97-2.0 MW turbine certified by a Chinese certification entity authorised by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA).

The G97-2.0 MW is a benchmark turbine in the Chinese market, where over 150 units have been installed since 2011. Moreover, so far this year, Gamesa has secured orders for the supply of another 99 turbines of this make.

It is now mandatory to obtain local product certification in order to sell wind turbines in China in the wake of specific legislation passed which took effect on 1 July 2015.

“Gamesa has become the first foreign OEM to obtain this distinction from a Chinese certification agency”, said Antonio de la Torre, Gamesa’s director of product development.

In the wake of certification of the G97-2.0 MW, the company is planning to have the rest of its Chinese 2-MW product catalogue certified under the local standard in the months to come. Gamesa’s presence in China, where it has installed over 3,800 MW and currently services almost 900 MW, dates back 15 years.

Type certification for the G114-2.0 MW class S

Elsewhere, the company has also secured type certification for its G114-2.0 MW class S turbine, a variant of this model tailor-designed for the low-wind weather conditions typical of the Asian market.

This milestone completes the process of certifying the company’s turbine and constitutes an endorsement for the platform’s technology which in turn bolsters the marketing and industrialisation processes.

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China will put in place a system of conservation standards to cap energy consumption for all major energy-intensive industries by 2020, according to a circular issued by the State Council, China’s cabinet.

According to the circular on boosting work to standardize energy conservation, 80 percent of the country’s energy efficiency standards should be on par with international standards in the same time frame.

The circular requires governments at all levels to invest more in research and personnel training for standardizing energy conservation.

It pointed out the current standards have limited coverage and are outdated.

Growatt
SAJ Electric
AERZEN
COMEVAL