”New energy” for Japan

Table 1. Main ‘new energy’ types and 2010 installed
capacity targets
New energy type 1999 actual (MW) 2010 target (MW) Increase Projected share in 2010*(%)
Fuel cells 12 2,200 x 183.0 0.09
Wind 83 3,000 x 036.0 0.22
PV 209 4,820 x 023.0 0.19
Wastes 900 4,170 x 005.0 0.92
Biomass 80 330 x 004.0 0.05
Natural gas cogeneration 1,520 4,640 x 003.0 0.18
Hydropower 21,502 25,713 x 001.2 3.33
Geothermal 530 530 x 001.0

… fighting blackouts

China’s Government is reported to be planning to spend 200 billion yuan (US$24 billion), this year to build power plants that generate the equivalent of three times the electricity used by New York City, in an effort to stop power blackouts.

China will start work on 144 new power stations this year, with 37 GW of capacity, and begin building plants to produce another 35 GW by 2006. At the end of 2003, China’s total generating capacity was 380 GW. More than half of the power plants to be started up this year will burn coal.

Blackouts caused closures at factories across two thirds of the country last summer, including General Motors and SVA Group plants in Shanghai, as China failed to meet power demand from aluminium smelters, automakers and offices.

This year, factories and households should prepare for more blackouts as electricity demand races ahead of supply, the country’s biggest grid operator State Grid Corp. has warned.

Last year, Hangzhou BC Foods, China’s biggest Coca-Cola factory, had to shut down for at least two days a week between July and August on government orders to conserve supplies for the rest of Hangzhou city. The power shortages, which also shut factories run by General Motors, SVA Group and other manufacturers in Shanghai and elsewhere, followed an acceleration in demand that outstripped government predictions.


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