Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Update: Another reader took issue with the headline "drop solar". It's not mine it's EL&P's headline.
He sent along the text of Wen Jiabao's comments, reprinted below the link-farm.
Original post:
This is rather a major shift in emphasis, the story is four weeks old but definitely noteworthy.
Thanks to a sharp-eyed reader.
From Asia Pulse via Electric Light&Power:

China will accelerate the use of new-energy sources such as nuclear energy and put an end to blind expansion in industries such as solar energy and wind power in 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says in a government report published on March 5.

China will instead develop nuclear power in 2012, actively develop hydroelectric power, tackle key problems more quickly in the exploration and development of shale gas, and increase the share of new energy and renewable energy in total energy consumption.

The guidance indicates a new trend for new-energy and renewable energy development in China from 2012. Analysts believe that the development of the solar and wind power industries will stabilize while hydropower will have the top priority in renewable energy development in China.
-- Hydropower to contribute two-thirds of renewable energy

According to China's development plan for 2011-2015, China aims to increase the share of renewable energy consumption to 11.4 per cent of total energy consumption in China by the end of 2015.
As solar power and wind power development may slow down by government measures to curb blind expansion, hydropower is expected to play a more important role in fulfilling the renewable energy consumption target and contribute two-thirds to the target.

The National Energy Administration (NEA) plans to add 20 GW of hydropower installed capacity, up 57 per cent year on year, which marks the biggest increase in recent years.

Based on the average cost of 6,870 yuan/kW during 2006-2010, the planned 20 GW hydropower installed capacity will require an investment of 137.4 billion yuan (US$21.7 billion).

Besides these developments, the government report emphasizes accelerating the establishment of mechanisms that promote the use of new-energy sources. It also lays down the need to strengthen overall planning, promote auxiliary projects, strengthen policy guidance, and expand domestic demand. This means China will pay more attention to the utilization of new energy, hence wind power and solar power, which failed to achieve sound utilization, will bid farewell to the era of fast development, said Zhai Ruoyu, former general manager of the China Datang Corp., one of China's five power giants.
-- Share of non-fossil energy use in China drops in 2011

The share of non-fossil energy consumption, including hydropower, nuclear power, wind power and solar power, in total primary energy use in China witnessed a decline of 0.3 percentage point from 8.6 per cent in 2010 to 8.3 per cent in 2011, says Qian Zhimin, deputy director with the NEA

According to a report from the China Electricity Council on the performance of China's power industry in 2011, the average operating hours of hydropower generating facilities decreased 376 hours to 3,028 hours in 2011 due to severe drought, the lowest level of the past 20 years.

Meanwhile, the operating hours of wind power generating units plunged by 144 hours in 2011 despite an increase of 48.16 per cent in on-grid wind power output.

The operating hours of solar power generating units also declined in spite of the tripling of installed capacity of solar PV power.
So much for the Fukushima slowdown.
Nov. 7, 2011 
Bill Gates and China Aren't Building a Traveling Wave Nuclear Plant (yet)
March 16, 2011 
"China freezes nuclear approvals"
...My best guess is that this is as much for external consumption as it is about safety concerns and that China will be looking to increase their uranium supplies.
March 15, 2011 
UPDATED: With Uranium Stocks Down 26% "China 'Won't' Change Nuclear Plans" 60 Reactors Scheduled (CCJ; RTP; URA; DNN; URRE)
Dec. 3, 2010 
"China spending $511 billion to build up to 245 nuclear reactors"

Via Xinhua-(emphasis ours)

Full Text: Report on the Work of the Government
...We will conserve energy, reduce emissions, and protect the ecological environment. The key to conserving energy and reducing emissions is to save energy, improve energy efficiency, and reduce pollution. We will promptly formulate and promulgate a work plan for appropriately controlling total energy consumption, and move quickly to base the energy pricing system on the market. We will use economic, legal, and the necessary administrative means to conserve energy and reduce emissions in key areas such as manufacturing, transportation, construction, public institutions, and people's homes, and in 1,000 key energy-intensive enterprises; and close down more outdated production facilities. We will tighten supervision of energy use, develop smart power grids and ensure the proper distribution of energy supplies, and implement effective administrative practices such as efficient electricity generation and distribution, energy performance contracting, and government procurement of energy-efficient goods and services. 

We will optimize the energy structure, promote clean and efficient use of traditional energy, safely and effectively develop nuclear power, actively develop hydroelectric power, tackle key problems more quickly in the exploration and development of shale gas, and increase the share of new energy and renewable energy in total energy consumption. We will step up the construction of energy transportation routes. We will thoroughly implement the basic state policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment. We will carry out certification of energy-efficient products and oversight and inspection of energy efficiency labeling; encourage economical use of energy, water, land, and materials as well as comprehensive use of resources; and vigorously develop a circular economy. We will strengthen environmental protection; strive to solve major environmental problems that directly affect people's lives, such as heavy metals, drinking water sources, air, soil, and marine pollution; reduce pollution from non-point agricultural sources; and put hazardous chemicals under strict oversight and supervision. We will start monitoring fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River delta, the Pearl River delta and other key areas as well as in municipalities directly under the central government and provincial capital cities, and extend the practice to all cities at and above the prefectural level by 2015. We will improve the ecology, establish a sound system of compensation for ecological damage, strengthen ecological protection and restoration, and consolidate achievements in protecting virgin forests, turning vulnerable farmland into forests and grasslands, and stopping grazing to let grasslands recover. We will strengthen grassland ecological conservation; vigorously carry out afforestation; make progress in dealing with desertification and stony deserts and in improving terraced farmland; and strictly protect river sources, wetlands, lakes, and other priority functional ecological zones. We will strengthen capacity building to adapt to climate change, and especially to respond to extreme climate events, and improve our ability to prevent and mitigate natural disasters. We will uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and the principle of fairness, and play a constructive role in promoting international talks on climate change. We will show the world with our actions that China will never seek economic growth at the expense of its ecological environment and public health. We are definitely capable of taking a path of civilized development which ensures that production increases, people's living standards rise, and we live in a good ecological environment....