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Solar: 2016 Solar Installation Statistics Published by the CEC
The CEC recently published statistics on domestic solar installations for 2016. According to the document, by the end of 2016, over 34 GW of new solar energy had been installed across the country, bringing the total installed capacity to over 77 GW. Total power generation from solar in 2016 was 66 TWh, approximately 1% of national power generation. 28% of new installations occurred in the Northwest area comprising Shaanxi (217 GW), Gansu (76 GW), Ningxia (217 GW), Qinghai (119 GW) and Xinjiang (329 GW). (CEC)
Source: Azure International, CEC
As mentioned in last week's News Update, the frenzied growth in solar in 2016 is largely due to utility scale projects rushing to completion before the large tariff cut in June 2016. However under the Electricity Development Plan, the Solar Power target for 2020 further calls for 60 GW of distributed solar and 5 GW of concentrated solar, with the remaining 45 GW is assumed to be standard utility-scale solar. Thus we expect the next three years to see a moderate cooling of utility scale projects in China as local governments digest current project pipelines.
On the other hand, current installation figures indicate distributed solar capacity in China is hovering at around only 10 GW. Therefore while the 2020 target of 110 GW target will likely be surpassed, it will be difficult for distributed solar to reach its sub-target of 60 GW, especially as the regions currently driving solar installation figures (Northwest and IMAR) are almost exclusively installing utility scale projects, with distributed projects concentrated more in highly populated east coast provinces.
Plan: Solar Development Plan of the 13th Five Year Plan “十三五” Published by NEA
In December the NEA published the Solar Power Development Plan, part of China's national 13th Five Year Plan. According to the document, by the end of 2015, total installed solar capacity was 43 GW, and total power generation from solar sources was nearly 40 TWh , approximately 0.7% of national power generation. By 2020, installed solar capacity is targeted to reach 110 GW, with total power generation more than tripling to 150 TWh, 1.6% of national power generation. (NEA CN)
Source: Azure International
While not specified in the Solar Power Development Plan, under the Electricity Development Plan, the Solar Power target for 2020 further calls for 60 GW of distributed solar and 5 GW of concentrated solar, with the remaining 45 GW assumed to be standard utility scale solar.
While the explosive buildout of utility scale solar projects in 2016 puts the current installation numbers at 77 GW at 2016 year end, the majority of this growth has been from utility scale projects rushing to completion before the large tariff cut in June. Currently distributed solar in China is hovering at around only 7 GW. Therefore while the 110 GW target will likely be surpassed, it is unlikely that distributed solar will be able to reach its sub-target of 60 GW.
Plan: Biomass Development Plan of the 13th Five Year Plan “十三五” Published by NEA
The NEA recently published the Wind Power Development Plan, part of China's national 13th Five Year Plan. According to the document, by the end of 2015, total installed wind capacity was 10.3 GW, and total power generation from wind 52 TWh, approximately 0.92% of national power generation. By 2020, installed wind capacity will reach 15 GW, with total power generation nearly doubling to 90 TWh, 1.3% of national power generation. (NEA CN)
Biomass pipeline covering the period of the 13th Five Year Plan
Source: Azure International
During the 13th Five Year Plan, total investment in the Biomass industry will reach 196 billion RMB. Of this 196 billion RMB, 40 billion RMB will go towards power generation, 120 billion RMB for biogas, 18 billion RMB for biomass briquette industries, and 18 billion RMB for investment into liquid biofuels.
Plan: Wind Development Plan of the 13th Five Year Plan “十三五” Published by NEA
The NEA recently published the Wind Power Development Plan of the 13th Five Year Plan. The development plan lays out comprehensive onshore and offshore installation targets per province for 2020. According to the document, by the end of 2015, total installed wind capacity was 129 GW, and total power generation from wind 186.3 TWh, which was 3.3% of national power consumption. By 2020, installed wind capacity will be 210 GW, with total power generation more than doubling to 420 TWh, 6% of national power consumption. The development plan also highlights cross provincial UHV transmission lines under construction or that have recently come online, aimed at delivering power from the north to east and central China. (NEA CN)
Long Distance Cross-Provincial UHV Transmission Lines Highlighted in Wind Power Development Plan
2015 Installed Capacity and 2020 Targets, by province
Source: Azure International, NEA
The wind development plan calls for continued capacity expansion by 2020, however, as seen in the chart above, 64% of new capacity additions, 64 GW, will be in southern provinces with less robust wind resources. This reflects central planners desire to ease high curtailment levels in the “three norths”, 三北, area of the Northwest, Northeast and North China grids. Provinces seeing the largest capacity increase to 2020 are Yunnan (7.9 GW, 191%); Hebei (7.8 GW, 76%); Jiangsu (5.4 GW, 131%); and Henan (5.1 GW, 559%). Provinces that saw the highest levels of curtailment in 2016, such as Gansu (1.48 GW, 12%) Xinjiang (1.09 GW, 6%) and Jilin (0.56 GW, 13%) are targeted for much smaller capacity increases. Offshore wind development is also emphasized, with Fujian set to build 3 GW, or 60% of total offshore wind, by 2020.
Statistics: Utilization Hours for First Three Quarters of 2016 Published by the NEA
National Utilization Hours for First Three Quarters of 2016
(Source: Azure International)
The top two provinces for wind utilization hours are southwestern provinces, with Yunnan at 1,712 hrs and Sichuan at 1,643 hrs. In the same time, Gansu, Xinjiang and Jilin utilization hours remain low, at 870, 946, 951, respectively. With regards to thermal generation, an average of 3,071 hrs is the lowest level since 2005. (NEA CN)
Wind: First Three Quarters On-Grid Wind Data Published by the NEA
The NEA published wind operations data from January to the end of September 2016. Ten GW of wind power came online during this period and wind power sent to the grid reached 169.3 TWh. The average utilization hours was 1,251, representing a decrease of 66 hours, or 5% from the same period in 2015. Wind curtailment was 39.5 TWh for an average curtailment rate of 19%. (NEA CN)
In line with Azure's previous coverage of renewable curtailment in China, wind curtailment covered in this period is heaviest in Xinjiang (41%), Gansu (46%), IMAR (23%) and Jilin (34%). These provinces have historically been suffering from the highest curtailment rates in China, as local power consumption is relatively low while installed wind capacity is high. Xinjiang and Gansu have taken numerous measures to alleviate this issue, with Xinjiang investing 180 million RMB in wind-to-heat projects, while Gansu recently completed a ±800kV UHV DC transmission line that should help send renewable power reach demand centers in Hunan province