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China province powered by renewable energy only for 7 days

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Reform China

State Grid Corporation of China is currently conducting a trial of covering all electricity supply to the whole of  Qinghai Province with clean energy,  ranging from solar, wind and to hydro power in 7 consecutive days or 168 hours, from 17 June to 23 June.

Qinghai province is located in China’s north0west with a population about 6 million ,and according to People’s Daily, the official newspaper, the trial is designed to prove that fossil fuels will not be needed in the future.

“Being the fist trial of this kind in the country and a major step in the transformation of energy supply, it will be of great importance in promoting the use of clean energy in China in a sustainable and effective way, ” said Quan Shenming , general manager of Qinghai Electric Power Corporation, a subsidiary of State Grid Corporation.

During the trial, consumption of electricity in the whole province will totally rely on renewable energy, mostly hydro power which will contribute 78% , and solar and wind which will contribute the remaining 22 per cent.

The control centre of Qinghai Electricity predicted that the average daily consumption of electrify in Qinghai province in the trial period from 17 June to 23 June is 175 million KWH.

Qinghai has ample resources in solar and hydro power. Since the start of the 12th five-year planning period in 2011, Photovoltaic solar power in Qinghai has expanded by 58 per cent per year, with total capacity of 6GW and another 1GW being added each year.

Portugal recently set a benchmark of  4 consecutive days, or 107 hours, of renewable energy only electricity supply. This trial in Qinghai will be longer and use significantly more solar.

Qinghai is planning major new renewable energy projects, including Haixi and Hainan renewable energy project of 10GW each.

By 2025 renewable power capacity installed will be 61 million KW, which will replace 50 million ton of coal for power generation. This will help Qinghai and China significantly in emission control and environment protection.

Source: Reform China. Reproduced with permission.  

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  • DS

    Chinese per capita energy consumption is 2.5x lower than Australia consumption, and 3.3x lower than US consumption, per World Bank. (http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.USE.ELEC.KH.PC)

    The study area is comprised of 78% hydro. In theory, Chinese citizens could cut their use by 22% of that trial period and make the study a success. We already know large shares of hydro provide reliable electricity. This study won’t prove anything we don’t already know, and is not cause for celebration. Hydro cannot be installed everywhere, and is likely already installed in the all the most obvious locations. Expanding use of hydro significantly will be difficult.

    • Mark Roest

      What’s the negativity about? Didn’t they just say “Photovoltaic solar power in Qinghai has expanded by 58 per cent per year, with total capacity of 6GW and another 1GW being added each year.”? “Expanding use of hydro significantly will be difficult,” but that doesn’t matter; solar and wind are taking over the world. Is that hard for you to take?

    • Chris Schneider

      DS, here is the big deal. The more Solar and wind produced the less Hydro required. This test will allow them to see the balance point where reliability would be effected. This will allow them to balance other parts of the grid to also take advantage of the surplus Hydro as the Solar and wind continue to take up higher percentages. Everything is a test when it comes to this type of system. We are talking about 6 million people. Bigger than any closed renewable grid I’m aware of. Although I could be wrong.