Development status of China’s new energy power generation industry

China is a rapidly developing and gradually industrialized developing country. The total energy consumption is increasing day by day. Domestic primary fossil energy can no longer meet the needs of production and life. At the same time, due to the large amount of pollutant emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels, which puts heavy pressure on environmental protection, the “energy crisis” and “environmental protection crisis” have prompted all walks of life in China to pay attention to the transformation of energy consumption structure. Since entering the new century, the Party Central Committee and the State Council have attached great importance to the development of the new energy industry. They listed the seven major industries of new energy, new materials, and biomedicine as China’s strategic emerging industries in the new century, and successively introduced a series of policy measures to stimulate and ensure the development and progress of the industry. With the promotion of policies and the joint efforts of the industry, China’s new energy power generation industry has achieved rapid development.

1. Photovoltaic power generation

In recent years, China’s domestic photovoltaic cell manufacturing industry has developed rapidly. In 2011, the domestic photovoltaic cell production reached 12.5GW, maintaining the world’s number one position for five consecutive years. In addition, driven and driven by the national “Photovoltaic Power Concession Project” and “Golden Sun Demonstration Project” and other projects, China’s photovoltaic power generation industry is advancing with leaps and bounds, and installed capacity is rapidly increasing. Especially in 2011, the growth rate of domestic photovoltaic installed capacity exceeded the GW mark. According to relevant data from the National Energy Administration, in 2011, the cumulative installed capacity of PV in China (excluding Taiwan) reached 3GW, the annual new installed capacity is about 2GW, the proportion of the world’s annual new installed capacity of photovoltaics has risen from less than 3% in 2010 to nearly 8%, as shown in Figure 1. In addition, according to statistics from the China Electricity Council, as of the end of 2011, the national grid-connected photovoltaic installed capacity was 2.14GW.

Development status of China's new energy power generation industry
Figure 1 – Distribution of new global photovoltaic installed capacity in 2011

2. Wind power

According to statistics from the Wind Energy Professional Committee of the Chinese Renewable Energy Society (China Wind Energy Association), in 2011, China (excluding China’s Taiwan region) added 11,409 wind turbines, with an installed capacity of 1,7630.9MW, and installed a total of 45,894 wind turbines with an installed capacity of 6,2364.2MW, an annual increase of 39.4%. as shown in Figure 2.

Development status of China's new energy power generation industry
Figure 2 – China’s newly added installed capacity and cumulative installed capacity of wind power over the years 2001-2011

It is worth mentioning that the current situation of relying heavily on imported wind turbines has been fundamentally changed. China-made wind turbines account for nearly 90% of the total installed capacity.

3. Biomass power generation

China is rich in biomass resources, and the domestic biomass power generation industry has developed rapidly, forming several mainstream biomass power generation companies, such as Kaidi Holdings. According to preliminary statistics from the Chinese Renewable Energy Society, as of the end of 2011, China had formed an installed capacity of 4360MW of biomass power generation, accounting for about 7% of the world’s total installed capacity of biomass power generation. However, under the current electricity price subsidy policy, the economics of biomass power generation have not been shown. Most biomass power generation companies are still at a loss, their investment enthusiasm is decreasing, and the growth rate is slowing down (Figure 3).

Development status of China's new energy power generation industry
Figure 3 – China’s total installed capacity and growth rate of biomass power generation from 2006 to 2008

4. Geothermal power generation

China’s geothermal power generation industry is developing slowly. As of the end of 2011, China’s installed capacity of geothermal power generation was 24.2GW. Among them, the high-temperature geothermal power plant is only the Tibet Yangbajing Power Plant which is still in operation. Its first 1MW test unit was successfully generated in 1977, and another 8 3MW units were completed in 1991, and the 1MW test unit was decommissioned at the same time. Since then, the total installed capacity will be maintained at 24.18MW, and the annual power generation will be around 100 million kWh. Of the 7 medium and low temperature geothermal power plants with an installed capacity of 0.1~0.3MW built in the 1970s, 5 were shut down at the end of the 1970s, only Dengwu 0.3MW in Fengshun County, Guangdong Province and Huitang 0.3MW in Huitang County, Hunan Province have two dual-working-substance units that have been in operation until 2008.

5. Nuclear power

In the new century, China has made new strategic adjustments to the development of nuclear power. The “Nuclear Power Mid- and Long-Term Development Plan” promulgated by the State Council puts forward the goal of reaching 40,000 MW of nuclear power installed capacity and 18,000 MW under construction by 2020. In addition, the total number of nuclear power plants under construction and already in operation in China at that time reached 41, with an installed capacity of 42,000 MW.