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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Azure International

Tel: +86 10 8447 7053

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E-mail: info@azure-international.com

Grid - Q1 2015 generation utilization statistics show worsening conditions: On April 24, the NEA released generation utilization statistics for the first three months of 2015. Overall utilization dropped by 8% compared to Q1 2014. Thermal plant utilization dropped nearly 10% while hydroelectric plant utilization grew by 10.5%. Meanwhile, wind utilization increased by less than 1%. The continuing drop in overall generation utilization illustrates China’s growing generation surplus. 2014 was already an exceptional year, with the lowest generation utilization levels since 1978. 2015 may very well be much worse, with excess generation contributing to erosion of generation profits and complicating the integration of renewable energy into China’s power system. (NEA CN)

Policy – China to revise electricity law, limit role of State Administration of Industry and Commerce: On April 24, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress reached a decision to amend the “China Electricity Law,” one the most important documents underlying China’s electricity market regulatory framework. By deleting

paragraph 3 of article 25, it eliminated the need for approval from the State Administration of Industry and Commerce. According to North China Power University Professor Zeng Ming, widely recognized as an expert on China’s power market reforms, this modification will allow more electricity retailers to enter the market and lessen the number of approvals needed. From Azure’s perspective, the interpretation of this electricity law revision is not clear. The first paragraph of article 25 still states that each region will only have one electricity retailer. This seems in conflict with Zeng Ming’s interpretation.  (BJX CN)


 
Policy - NEA safety inspections reveal plethora of problems at Chinese wind farms: On April 20 the NEA published results from recent safety inspections of generation and grid projects in Liaoning, Jilin, Anhui, Shanxi, Jiangxi, Gansu, Hunan, Guizhou and East Innner Mongolia. Within these provinces, the NEA inspected 81 projects and discovered 935 problems, 477 of which were related to management of operations and 458 to technical problems. In particular, the inspections revealed 320 safety problems during inspections of 20 wind farms within these regions. The surprisingly high number of safety issues found attests to the need for significant due diligence of generation projects in China by potential investors and reveals why the government is placing a strong emphasis on quality and safety moving forward. (NEA CN)
 
Policy – NDRC releases draft of new power project safety and management regulations: On April 24, the NDRC released a draft version of newly proposed safety and management measures for power infrastructure projects. The NDRC is soliciting industry feedback until April 30. The 18 page document, which covers both generation and grid projects, defines the responsibilities and liabilities (with specifically defined fines) of design, construction and operating organizations. This policy revision is obviously in response to the safety issues discovered in the NEA investigations mentioned above. (NDRC CN)
 
Policy - NEA releases suggestions for RE planning work for the 13-5 Year Plan: Reiterating China’s 2020 and 2030 clean energy consumption goals, this tentative policy calls for greater research and planning related to project and transmission projects. The policy calls for regional governments to submit their 2020 generation plans to the NEA by September 2015. (BJX CN)
 
Solar – Goldman Sachs bets on Chinese solar through new venture with GCL New Energy Holdings: On April 27, Goldman Sachs announced that it will pay US$100 million for convertible bonds that give it rights to a 45% stake in a business that acquires solar plant assets in China. The other 55% of this new venture will be owned by GCL New Energy. According to GCL New Energy, the new business venture is being set up “for the purpose of acquiring and holding solar power generation assets in the PRC with a predictable cash flow stream in order to fund a regular and increasing dividend to public investors of the company.” Earlier this month, GCL New Energy announced a US$1.3 billion loan agreement with CMB Nanjing Bank to finance solar project development and other corporate activities for two years. GCL New Energy has previously stated that it plans to build 7.5 GW of new PV capacity in China between 2015 and 2017. Although more specifics of this new venture have not yet been released, the venture appears to resemble a yieldco, perhaps similar to the Terraform yieldco that Goldman Sachs helped SunEdison create in 2014. The yieldco is an increasingly common way for renewable energy developers to raise capital at lower costs. GCL New Energy may be the first Chinese company to explore the yieldco model. (Forbes EN)
 
Solar – Trina Solar sets new efficiency record for p-type multi-crystalline silicon panels: Last week, China’s National Center for the Supervision and Inspection of Solar Photovoltaic Product Quality confirmed that Trina Solar achieved a 19.14% efficiency, which may be the first time a multi-crystalline cell has broken the 19% barrier. (EnergyMatters EN)
 
Energy Storage – ZBB Energy signs US$120 million supply agreement with China’s SPI: US based flow battery manufacturer ZBB Energy announced a new supply and share subscription agreement with Shanghai-based Solar Power Inc (SPI). The complex agreement, which calls for US$80-120 million in energy storage system purchases over the next four years, also features a preferred share agreement that could give SPI a majority interest in the NYSE listed company. ZBB CEO Eric Apfelbach indicated that ZBB may also look to ramp up its manufacturing capacity in China or Mexico. (JSOnline EN)
 
Wind – Goldwind announces 120 MW South Africa order, to provide South Africa’s first PMDD: Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind won a contract to provide 48 2.5 MW Goldwind 121/2500 low wind speed turbines for the Golden Valley Wind Farm in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The project, which is being developed by Biotherm Energy, marks the first shipment of permanent magnet direct drive (PMDD) turbines to South Africa. This is Goldwind’s second major project in South Africa and is being touted as a sign of Goldwind’s commitment to the emerging African wind market. (WindHR CN)
 
Energy Efficiency – Johnson Controls announces strategic alliance with Zhejiang Jianke Energy Conservation Technology: On April 22, Johnson Controls signed a strategic alliance to help Zhejiang province meet its green goals and ensure sustainable development. The alliance will help customers achieve LEED green building and other related certifications. (ChinaMoneyNetwork EN)
 
Outbound - China and Pakistan announce series of energy and infrastructure agreements: During President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan on April 20, China and Pakistan announced US$45 billion in investment agreements. As part of these agreements, China has agreed to provide five nuclear reactors worth US$15 billion and build a natural gas pipeline. (WantChinaTimes EN)


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