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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E-mail: info@azure-international.com

News Summary:

  • NEA Publishes Power Generation Utilization Hours for First Three Quarters of 2016  
  • Renewable Power Generation on the Northwest Grid Surpasses 70 TWh
  • Goldwind to Supply 82 MW Wind Farm in Chile




Statistics: Utilization Hours for First Three Quarters of 2016 Published by the NEA 

  • The NEA recently published data on the average utilization hours for all power plants over 6,000 KW. During the first three quarters of 2016 average utilization hours declined to 2,818 hrs, which makes for a decrease of 179hrs when compared to the same time frame in 2015. The key findings as broken down by sector:
  • Total Hydro installed capacity: 280 GW; Utilization hours: 2,766 hrs; an increase of 127 hrs
  • Total Thermal installed capacity: 1,030 GW; Utilization hours: 3,071 hrs; a decrease of 213 hrs
  • Total Wind installed capacity: 140 GW; Utilization hours: 1,251 hrs; a decrease of 66 hrs


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)

Read more: China Cleantech Update December 02, 2016

News Summary:

  • NEA Publishes January to September 2016 On-Grid Wind Data
  • Total Electricity Consumption Statistics Published for October
  • Gamesa to Build 90 MW Offshore Wind Farm in Tianjin

 
 
 
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)
 

 

(Source: Azure)
 
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 
 

Read more: China Cleantech Update November 25, 2016

News Summary:

  • NEA Releases Electric Power Sector Development Plan of the 13th Five Year Plan
  • CNBM International Purchases Ukrainian Solar Farm Operator Neptune Solar LLC
  • Gansu DRC Announces Completion of Jiuquan-Hunan ±800kV UHV DC Transmission Line and Construction of 200 MW Wind Farm in Tongwei, Gansu

 
 
 
13th Five Year Plan: National Electric Power Sector Development Plan Released by the NEA 
On November 7th, the long-awaited Electric Power Sector Development Plan of the 13th Five Year Plan was released by the NEA. Although further details are slated for release at a later date, key takeaways from this release include:

  • Targets for total electricity capacity by 2020 to reach 2 TW, up from 1.5 TW in 2015.
  • By 2020 thermal power capacity should be "controlled" by adding 200 GW to a total capacity of 1.1 TW
  •  Non-fossil fuel capacity is planned to reach 720 GW or 30% of total capacity.
  • Wind capacity is planned to reach 210 GW by 2020, including 5 GW of offshore wind.
  • Solar capacity is slated to reach 110 GW, including 60 GW of distributed solar and 5 GW of concentrated solar. (NEABJX CN)

 
Along with renewable capacity expansion, the development plan includes concrete benchmarks for mitigating renewable curtailment, with the NEA calling for renewable curtailment to be limited to a "reasonable level" of 5%. National curtailment levels for wind and solar in 2015 were 15% and 13%, respectively. The plan also calls for implementing power trading spot market trials by the end of 2018, and a national rollout of spot markets by 2020. 
 
 
 
Solar: CNBM International Purchases Ukrainian Solar Farm Operator Neptune Solar LLC
CNBM International Corp of China recently completed a 100% purchase of Ukrainian Solar farm operator Neptune Solar LLC. Neptune Solar has a photovoltaic (PV) park in Mykolaiv region with a capacity of 29.3 MW operational since 2013. The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine has already approved the deal with CNBM, and CNBM is said to be interested in other solar assets in Ukraine as well.(SEE
 
We expected overseas acquisitions to continue as domestic PV projects face lower tariffs and stiff solar curtailment. The national curtailment rate for 2015 was 13%, however, provinces with higher solar penetration such as Gansu and Xinjiang have been experiencing curtailment rates as high as 32% and 33%.
 

 

(Ukrainian Solar Farm, Source: SEE
 

Read more: China Cleantech Update November 17, 2016

News Summary:

  • Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan Regional Exchange Completes Trading
  • Newly Installed PV Capacity for the First Three Quarters of 2016 Reaches 26 GW
  • Belgian DEME and China's COSCO Shipping Form Joint Venture to Develop Offshore Wind in China

 
 
 
Marketization: Power Trading Finishes for the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan Regional Power Exchange
The recently opened Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan Exchange completed its trading for 2016 after it reached its target trade volume of 6.1 TWh. Many independent observers expressed disappointment with the performance of the exchange, mainly that each region traded largely within their administrative boundaries, rather than cross-regionally. Approximately 60% and 77% of power purchased in Tianjin and Tangshan, amounting to 900 GWh and 1.7 TWh, respectively, was generated from within their administrative areas. (BJX CN)
 
This stated dissatisfaction with the interregional direct trading platform presents an obstacle to further Jing-Jin-Ji power integration. The trading center was only stipulated to run in 2016 and no further plans have been published for the continuation of the exchange in the future.
 
 
 
Statistic: Newly Installed PV Capacity for the First Three Quarters of 2016 Reaches 26 GW
The China Renewable Energy Society recently announced that new PV installations in China reached 26 GW in the first three quarters of 2016. According to the announcement by Vice President Meng Xian'gan, China is on track to install a total of 30 GW of solar energy for 2016, even though the annual target is only 18.1 GW. (BJX CN
 
The new installment figures this year are especially high due to the rush of PV companies to build before the June 30th tariff cut. However, a glut of PV projects could cause pipeline delays and loss of subsidies, as well as exacerbate a germinating solar curtailment issue. National curtailment rate for 2015 was 13%, however, some provinces such as Gansu and Xinjiang have been experiencing curtailment rates of 32% and 33%.
 
 

Read more: China Cleantech Update November 09, 2016

News Summary:

  • NEA Publishes Draft of Inter-provincial Renewable Energy Incremental Spot Market Regulations
  •  Wind Investment for First Three Quarters of 2016 Falls 29%
  • Jinko Solar to Build 40 MW Solar Farm in Vietnam

 
 
 
Policy: Draft of Inter-provincial Renewable Energy Incremental Spot Market Regulations Published by NEA
The NEA recently published regulations concerning the establishment of an interprovincial renewable energy spot market. Market participants will be able to trade power from renewable energy sources on a day-ahead and inter-day time scale only after having already signed long or medium term power contracts and only if renewable energy producers are forecasted to encounter curtailment.Market participants may enter into the incremental spot market only after these preconditions are met. (BJX CN)
 
This represents the strongest signal yet of establishing a fully functioning spot market trading mechanism, an indicator of true marketization of the power sector. However, attaching participation in the spot market with signing a long term power purchase contract may present an obstacle to renewable generators looking to participate.
 
 
 
Statistic: Wind Investment for First Three Quarters of 2016 Falls 29%
According to a recent China Electricity Council Report on China's Electricity Demand for the first three quarters of 2016, while total installment figures of grid-connected wind capacity reached 140 GW, wind power investment dropped by a total of 29%. (CEC CN
 
Heavy curtailment and decreasing utilization hours for wind is becoming evident in dampening investor enthusiasm. National wind utilization hours declined overall by 5% from last year to 1251 hours for the same period. However certain provinces have seen large reductions in operating hours, with Xinjiang seeing a decrease of 29% to 946 hours, Ningxia falling 25% to 1064 hours and Gansu decreasing 9% to 870 hours.
 

Read more: China Cleantech Update November 04, 2016

News Summary:

  • NDRC Issues On-grid Tariff Adjustments for Wind and Solar
  • Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan Regional Direct Power Trading Center Opens
  • NEA Halts Construction and Approval Process for Coal Power Projects in 28 Provinces

 
 
 
Policy: New On-Grid Tariff Adjustments for Distributed and Utility Scale Solar, Onshore and Offshore Wind
The NDRC recently issued new on-grid tariffs for wind and solar power. Onshore wind tariffs were reduced by 5% to 13%, while solar utility tariffs were reduced by 24% to 31%. The new feed-in tariffs now include differentiation between intertidal and offshore wind. Intertidal tariffs are set at 0.7 RMB/KWh and offshore are set at 0.8 RMB/KWh. (BJX CN)
 
(Table of New On-Grid Tariffs for Renewables)

 

(Unit RMB/KWh) (Source: Azure) 
 
While a reduction in the feed-in tariff for renewables was expected, the nearly one-third cut for utility-scale solar projects means this reduction will likely lead to further consolidation in the local PV markets. Azure consulting may be able to help navigate the pricing policy landscape in China.
 

Read more: China Cleantech Update October 27, 2016

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