Friday, March 04, 2005

Alternate Energy China: Renewable Energy Law sets 10% Target

BBC News reports that China's government has passed a renewable energy law which is intended to increase production of energy from sustainable sources.

The law, which will come into force early next year, seeks to increase the usage of solar and wind power to 10% of China's total consumption by 2010. This would equate to around 60 gigawatts.

However, while the new law has been welcomed, it has been suggested that the targets are over ambitious.

Rising oil prices and concerns over environmental damage prompted the move.

At present China relies on coal for most of its power, mining 1.8bn tons in 2004.

By fixing prices for electricity from solar and wind generated power, the government hopes to create financial incentives for existing operators and attract investment to these new markets.

But while there has been rapid expansion in the sustainable energy sector, it currently provides only a fraction of China's needs.

Currently wind power in China only contributes 0.01% to the power grid. To increase that to 10% in five years is ambitious, but in my opinion it's a target well worth aiming for. If China takes the same relentless attitude to pushing down the costs of wind turbine manufacture as it does with consumer goods the benefits may be realised around the world.

Full BBC News Article

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Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

Wind is currently the cost leader among the major "alternative" energy supplies.  At 30% capacity factor, 60 GW average electric output would require 200 GW of turbines.  That translates to 40,000 (FORTY THOUSAND!) of the brand-new 5M turbines, and many more if smaller models are used.

I don't know what these things cost, but at $600/kW nameplate capacity ($2000/kW average) it would be $120 billion, or $24 billion/year over the next five years.  This just isn't going to happen.  Even nuclear plants are cheaper, and China has no problems with environmental permits that would hold up construction.

If it's impossible, why announce it?  Perhaps to divert criticism.  Without saying the right things, it would be very easy for groups to push for a boycott of China (and/or WalMart) on environmental grounds.

11:10 am, March 04, 2005  
Blogger Bengt said...

You have been observed by Enblogomdan.

9:06 pm, March 04, 2005  
Anonymous Adrian Akau said...

Adrian Akau
Pahala, Hawaii

What China really needs to develop in wind power are facilities for the manufacturing of efficient wind power turbines. Presently, they are dependent upon wind turbine technology from other countries. Once they realize that manufacturing in this direction will lead to the creation of more jobs, much more power, better utilization of renewable sources, less pollution, increased standard of living and more energy for manufacturing of exportable goods, then they should become more positive in promoting wind turbine production in their own country.

Most of China's manufacturing is along its East coast; there is presently little to the west. Any wind energy development in this area would help cut down on the coal tonnage that is brought in from western China.

6:33 pm, July 05, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Poetic Engineer:
Some one after my own heart! LOL. I am a civil engineering student at the University of Texas and I have been in contact with private investors that would like to see Tidal Power used for the production of Hydrogen. Where might I find some figures and studies about the cost per kW produced with varying water displacement?
Whitney E. Lawrence III

7:59 am, July 26, 2005  

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