Greenpeace: Jiangsu a potential leader of China’s ‘energy revolution’

Press release - 2015-07-15
Beijing, 15 July, 2015 – Greenpeace East Asia (GPEA) research on Jiangsu Province’s renewables capability has found that with its natural resources and current electricity grid infrastructure, the province is capable of more than triple its current targets. Moreover, research shows that with technological upgrades to the network, reaching more ambitious renewable targets could be achieved at a 50% lower cost than through network expansion. GPEA calls on the Jiangsu provincial government and other eastern provinces to take note of these important findings and pursue a more ambitious and cost effective renewables target while reducing coal power generation. Following this path, Jiangsu can become a leader in China’s energy revolution.

 “Last month China pledged to the UN to attain 20% of its energy from renewables by 2030. This pledge will be achieved, or quite possibly surpassed, by the efforts of every province. And yet Jiangsu, a critical piece in the jigsaw, is under promising,” said GPEA Climate and Energy Senior Campaigner Yuan Ying.

Jiangsu currently supplies the majority of its energy from coal. As a result it has some of the worst air quality in China.[1] However, current plans to increase renewable energy usage by 10GW for both wind and solar would result in just 5% of total energy coming from renewables by 2020.

GPEA’s research into the renewables potential and grid capacity of Jiangsu Province used a computerised model of the Jiangsu power grid, on which a more ambitious renewables energy plan of 30GW of wind, 30GW of solar and 3GW of biomass power, more than triple current targets, was simulated. The research was carried out in conjunction with the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association, German engineering consultancy Energynautics, and the Jiangsu Electric Power Company’s Research Institute.

Findings showed that if Jiangsu were to introduce smart grid measures such as Dynamic Line Rating – a technology which cools power lines and increases efficiency – the province could easily integrate 30GW of wind and 30GW solar energy. It could then meet a 2020 renewables target of 14%. Moreover, at 3.1 billion rmb, the cost of such smart grid upgrades are almost 50% cheaper than the 6.7 billion rmb which would be required to expand the current network to meet this target.

“With smart grid measures Jiangsu, together with other eastern provinces, could become one of the pioneers of China’s energy revolution,” said Yuan Ying.

GPEA calls on the Jiangsu government to implement these cost effective improvements to the current network and enhance the ambition of its renewable energy targets. Through such measures Jiangsu and provinces with similar conditions have enormous potential to significantly improve their air pollution problems and to become driving forces of China’s clean energy future.

 

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Tom Baxter

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[1] http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/press/releases/climate-energy/2015/Hebei-Jiangsu-exceeding-emissions-cap/

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