NEW ENERGIZING CHINA’S GRID
China Rebuilds Its Power Grid as Part of Its Clean Technologies Push
Coco Liu, April 20, 2011 (NY Times)
"As the world's largest fossil fuel consumer, China is trying to use more clean energy, but…[its] current electric grid can't handle it…State Grid Corp. of China, the country's top electricity distributor…[is therefore] building what it calls a "strong, smart grid." After two years of testing…[it is] now throttling up to full-speed implementation.
"The [hopes are] to rescue renewable energy, especially wind power, from a technical bottleneck…create demand that could give China a better position in the lucrative and highly competitive global smart grid component manufacturing race…[and] reduce the nation's transportation emissions by developing a nationwide electric vehicle charging network…"
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"…[State Grid] will make the decisions for national grid development…[affecting] its more than 1 billion customers in China…[and] the outside world…The overarching goal for the more advanced transmission network, according to the company, is to reduce enough carbon emissions to help China achieve at least 20 percent of its targeted emission cuts…China's emission cuts have never been more important to the success of combating global warming... China now consumes more energy than any other nation, accounting for more than a fifth of the world's energy-related greenhouse gas emissions…
"For the sake of its environment and energy security, China in recent years has been trying to add renewable energy into its power mix, but the country's strongest winds, brightest sunlight and most powerful rivers aren't found near the nation's energy-hungry regions…And [those connected] often have to be shut down when wind is at its peak because the existing grid is too weak…In the first half of 2010 alone, wind-generated electricity that could have been used by about 10 million Chinese for a whole year had nowhere to go…"
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"…[State Grid’s] strategy is to adopt ultra-high-voltage power lines that can carry heavy flows of electricity across the vast country.. By 2015, the company declared, its grid infrastructure would be in line with growth in the nation's wind power sector…[which] is scheduled to more than double in the next five years…[M]ore solar and hydro power would [also] be able to flow into the grid…
"In addition, technology innovation is under way to make the grid smarter…[and] grid development is also expected to forge Chinese manufacturing power…China's wind turbine industry -- which barely existed in 2004 -- now holds four seats among the world's top 10 manufacturers…[Finally,] over the next five years, hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles charging points will be added as part of the grid plan…[T]hat will encourage Chinese automakers to produce electric cars and pave the way for drivers who want to switch…"