China will solve the problem of renewable energy going to waste by 2020, the head of the National Energy Administration said on Dec 26.
“Wind and solar curtailment rates are expected to drop 6.7 and 3.8 percentage points respectively in 2017, and the utilization rate for hydropower will reach 95 percent this year,” Nur Bekri, head of the NEA, was quoted as saying by Economic Daily, at the national work conference on energy.
“China has become a global leader in the development of non-fossil fuel,” he said, adding that the country has made great achievement in the development of new energy and renewable energy, Xinhua reported.
The country’s newly added renewable energy capacity accounts for 40 percent of the global growth, with the total capacity amounting to around 656 gigawatts, according to Economic Daily.
The cost of building wind and solar power projects has been reduced by 20 percent and 60 percent respectively. China tops the world in hydro, wind, solar and nuclear power projects that are under construction, said Nur Bekri.
The country will strengthen supervision of the development and utilization of renewable energy, establish a quota system on renewable-energy generated electricity and push for the sector to participate in market-based electricity trading, he said.
China’s total energy output is expected to reach 3.6 billion metric tons of standard coal in 2017, among which non-fossil fuel accounts for 17.6 percent, 6.4 percentage points higher than that in 2012, according to Economic Daily.
The country will suspend or delay 150 gW of coal-fired power projects and cut more than 20 gW of outdated coal-fired power capacity by 2020. Coal’s share in China’s total power mix will be capped at 55 percent by 2020, 7 percentage points lower than that in 2016, according to Xinhua.
The NEA will further strengthen supply-side reform in the coal and coal-fired power sectors in the coming year by cutting outdated capacity and increasing high-quality capacity to ensure sufficient energy supply, stable price and balanced supply and demand, Xinhua reported.
“However, China should not make hasty decisions in cutting coal capacity and the fuel will still play a leading role in the country’s total energy mix in the next 20 years,” said Wu Lixin, deputy director of the strategic planning research department at the China Coal Research Institute.
“The country holds one-third of the world’s coal reserves and still faces the problem of insufficient oil and gas resources,” said Wu.
Different renewable energies have their own shortcomings and none of them can replace coal’s role as the most important fuel in China, she added.