In May 2009, Liu Zhenya, general manager of China's State Grid Corporation, said that the company will promote the development of a strong and smart power grid in China in phases, and fully complete the construction of a unified strong smart grid by 2020.
Ge Zhengxiang, director of the research laboratory at China's State Grid Corporation, said that once the strong smart grid is completed, its ability to optimize resource allocation will be significantly enhanced, clean energy will account for 35 percent of installed capacity, distributed power will achieve "plug and play," and smarter ammeters will be widely used.
On August 5, US President Obama suggested that the US should construct a new smart grid which can transmit power between the east and west coasts of the US. Obama admitted frankly that the US has not made sound achievements in this new area for a long time, and that China, Japan and other countries are significantly ahead.
"This suggests that the US has a similar concept of smart grid construction as China, and that the US will construct a large-scale strong smart grid like China's," said Hu Zhaoguang, vice-director of the State Power Economic Research Institute.
Under current technical conditions, the large-scale utilization of intermittent energies such as wind and solar power will affect the security of the grid. The intensive development, long-distance transmission and efficient use of renewable energies can only be achieved when the strong smart grid is built.
According to expert calculations, by 2020 China's installed capacity of renewable energies will reach 570 million kilowatts, accounting for 35 percent of the country's total capacity. Standard coal consumption will be reduced by 470 million tons per year, and carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 1.38 billion tons per year. Ge said that China's strong smart grid is primarily a strong grid, whose extra-high voltage technology has core characteristics including long distance, high capacity and low loss efficiency.
In January 2009, the Southeast Shanxi-Nanyang-Jingmen extra-high voltage pilot project, which is a 1,000 kV UHVAC transmission project independently researched, designed and constructed by China, was formally completed and put into operation. This indicated that China has mastered the core technology of extra-high voltage construction.
At present, only China has developed 1,000 kV high voltage technology. "The US will construct a power transmission network that is over 4,000 kilometers in length, and it will probably adopt extra-high voltage technology because it is the most economic method for long-distance power transmission," said Hu.
By People's Daily Online