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China: No Wind Or Solar If It Can’t Beat Coal On Price

January 11, 2019

By Paul Homewood



From Forbes:


China has said it will not approve wind and solar power projects unless they can compete with coal power prices.

Beijing pulled the plug on support for large solar projects, which had been receiving a per kWh payment, in late May. That news came immediately after the country’s largest solar industry event and caught everyone by surprise.

Officials are understood to have been frustrated at seeing Chinese suppliers and engineering firms building solar projects overseas that delivered electricity at prices far below what was available back home.

The country also has its own issues with grid logjams. These have caused power from wind and solar projects to be wasted due to a lack of capacity on the network to transmit and distribute it. In 2017 12% of wind generation and 6% of solar was curtailed.

In the plans announced on Thursday, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the top strategic planning authority, and the National Energy Administration (NEA) set out a series of conditions under which new solar and wind projects would be approved from now till the end of 2020.

Chief among these is that the price matches or undercuts the national coal benchmark, something that happened for the first time ever just last month.

Projects will also have to show that the grid can handle their output. Technical specifications will ensure that the highest standards are met on that front.

Local governments have been told they are free to offer their own subsidies to projects if they wish.

  1. Mike Jackson permalink
    January 11, 2019 9:01 pm

    Ever the realists, our Chinese friends. Presumably they mean “compete with coal” on a level playing field. I’d go for that!

  2. Chilli permalink
    January 11, 2019 9:09 pm

    Does this have anything to do with the ‘Clean Development Mechanism’ ending with no replacement likely thanks to Trump?

    • dave permalink
      January 12, 2019 12:08 pm

      “…beat on price…”

      This is still a Communist country, you know! With a state-directed system of pretend markets and phony prices. Not ‘the hidden hand’ of Adam Smith but ‘the iron fist in the velvet glove’ of just about every ‘vigorous ruler’ in History.

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