May 20, 2020

State Electricity Giant Increases Share of Cleaner Generation Capacity

State Electricity Giant Increases Share of Cleaner Generation Capacity


State Power Investment Corp. Ltd., one of China’s five big electricity producers, has announced that its share of power generation capacity from sources other than coal, oil or natural gas grew to 50.8% this month from 50.14% last July.

As of earlier this month, State Power Investment had 155 gigawatts (GW) of total power generation capacity, with 78 GW coming from what the company called “clean” sources, which include solar, wind, nuclear and hydroelectric power, the company said at a press conference on Monday.

Of that latter figure, 30.4% was generated from hydropower, 24.9% came from wind, and 26.2% was from solar, the company said, noting that its total solar generation capacity was 20.69 GW, making State Power Investment the company with the largest solar power generation capacity in the world.

Government policy is driving the trend toward greener power generation capacity, according to a person in charge of new energy investment at a centrally administered state-owned enterprise. Conventional power generation — the kind that burns fossil fuels — has been subject to strict government restrictions. And because getting official approval for a new nuclear power plant remains difficult, other forms of clean energy have become an investment hotspot.

“(Our) clean energy investment accounts for more than 70% of the total,” Zu Bin, who sits on State Power Investment’s board of directors, said at the press conference.

Although the company’s proportion of power generation capacity from sources cleaner than fossil fuels has been growing, the company failed to meet the 54% target it set last July.

Still, the state-owned power giant is sticking to its ambitious plan to boost that share to 60% by 2025 and 75% by 2035, according to Qiang Zhuang, deputy director of the company’s strategy department.

Measures to achieve that goal include building energy storage plants in resource-rich areas, accelerating the development of hydrogen power, and building more nuclear power plants in coastal regions, the company said.

Contact reporter Lu Yutong (yutonglu@caixin.com) and editor Michael Bellart (michaelbellart@caixin.com)

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