China to subsidize electric grid upgrades

09:19, May 13, 2010      

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A National Reform and Development Commission (NDRC) official said Wednesday the central government will subsidize grid upgrades, as it moves to help in-the-red State Grid invest in China's power system.

"The government will subsidize investment in the power network in order to realize its goal of clean energy accounting for 15 percent of total energy consumption," Xu Huaqing, director of the Environment and Climate Change Research Center of the Energy Commission of the NDRC, said Wednesday at The Lecture on the Low Carbon Economy in the Petrol and Petrochemical Industries in Beijing. He did not offer details.

At last September's UN Climate Change Summit, President Hu Jintao said China would vigorously develop renewable and nuclear energy to reach the 15 percent goal by 2020.

China's existing development measures will see non-fossil energy reach 10 percent of energy consumption in 2010. Other renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, require advanced energy storage and grid connection technologies. The technical hurdles have proved a bottleneck to the development of those technologies.

"The biggest obstacles for the national grid are the lack of self-adjustment and self-control capabilities. At the same time, the power networks in some regions need to improve their anti-disaster abilities," Yan Luguang, an academic at the China Academy of Science, told the Global Times Wednesday.

State Grid said it would solve the power supply issues of 1.2 million households facing black outs, and would "realize power supply for every household" by 2010.

State Grid's deficit from last year is expected to reach 45 billion yuan ($6.59 billion). Prof-its plunged from 47.1 billion yuan ($6.9 billion) in 2007 to 9.66 billion yuan ($1.41 billion) in 2008, down 79.5 percent.

Although State Grid is short of money, it will begin large-scale construction of smart grid projects from 2011 to 2015.

"It's hard to finish building and development of the whole power network upgrades and the smart grid in five years. The existing problems should be solved in 15 years," said Gan Deqiang, an electrical engineering professor at Zhejiang University.

China is looking to add clean energy to meet surging demand.

Source: Global Times


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