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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%.
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.
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.
Policy: Electric Development Plan of the 13th Five Year Plan published by Zhejiang DRC and NEA
The Zhejiang NEA and DRC released its Electric Development Plan as part of the provincial 13th Five Year Plan. The province plans to install new capacity of 15.2 GW including 13.3 GW of non-fossil energy by 2020, bringing the total installed capacity of the province to 94 GW. Further targets include:
The decreasing installations of new thermal capacity forecasted in Zhejiang's 13th Five Year Plan promotes an increased share of renewables in the province, as the percentage of installed renewable capacity is expected to rise from 40% in 2015 to nearly 50% in 2020.
Source: NEA, Azure International
Solar: Concentrated solar power pilot project list published by NEA
The NEA published its CSP pilot project list. On-grid prices start at 1.15 RMB per kWh and is in effect for 2016 only. So far, there are 20 pilot projects with a cumulative installed capacity of 1.35 GW. The projects are found in Qinghai, Gansu, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang. The projects include:
Tower-based concentrated solar is the top CSP project to date, mostly because it has a higher startup and construction cost. We expect the other methods to be better suited to smaller scale installations.
Total Installed Capacity of CSP Plants (1.4GW)
M&A: State Grid Purchases Minority Stake in Third Largest Brazilian Energy Generation and Distribution Company
State Grid Corporation of China finalized a 23.6% purchase stake, worth $1.8 billion USD, in the Brazilian energy generation and distribution company CPFL Energia. State Grid worked with the holding company Camargo Corrêa S.A. to close the deal. (BJX CN)
Chinese companies are expanding their control of international companies to increase revenue streams. The 23.6% minority ownership stake gives State Grid an inroad strategy to Brazil, South America's largest economy and a top transmission and distribution grid market. CPFL Energia owns 13% of the total distribution market share and manage over 1.6 GW of generating capacity.
M&A: Shanghai Electric Power Announces Plans to Buy Controlling Stake in Pakistani Utility
Shanghai Electric plans to purchase a 66% stake in Pakistani, K-Electric, a vertically integrated utility of 11,000 employees based out of Karachi. The investment totals $1.6 billion USD and is Shanghai Electric's largest ever investment. (In-En CN)
M&A: China Three Gorges Corporation & State Grid Bidding on Brazilian Hydropower Company
China Three Gorges Corporation and State Grid Corporation are joint bidding on Santo Antônio Energia, the owner and operator of the $7 billion USD, 3.1 GW Santo Antônio Hydroelectric Plant in Western Brazil. The deal may go as high as $3.1 billion USD for a to-be-determined stake. (Deal Street Asia EN)
The weakening Brazilian economy is opening up foreign direct investment opportunities for investors, and China is leading the pack with $4 billion USD year to date. The downturn also is scaring away existing investors, such as Duke Energy, which is selling its Latin America energy assets and has invited China Three Gorges, State Grid, and Brookfield Asset Management to purchase its assets.
Wind: Hebei Delegates Offshore Wind Approval Authority to Municipalities
The government of Hebei announced shifting regulatory approval authority from province- to municipality-level for offshore wind farm project reviews and approvals. The authority includes approving offshore wind generators, undersea transmission cables, and mechanical support structures for wind turbines. Presumably, the offshore wind permitting process will be faster now. (BJX CN)
Presumably, a change from centralized to local control of offshore wind approval should make things more efficient, however, data and analysis from the 2013 Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Report point to a slowdown. Offshore wind projects as of 2013 took around two years to approve. Local governments are less well-equipped to assess wind projects, compared to provincial-level approval processes.