This new IEA study is published at a time when China is deliberating on a new comprehensive energy law, as well as revisions to its electricity law. Since China first embarked on an effort to gradually liberalize its power sector, great progress has been made: separating generation from transmission and improving distribution systems, experiments with wholesale markets are getting off the ground, and an increasingly independent regulator has taken its place in the Chinese administration. ‘China should be congratulated for this’, Mandil said, stressing, however, that ‘important challenges remain. Too much electricity is wasted by consumers and by networks, so too many power plants are being built to meet this demand. Too much fuel is wasted in generating power, and too much pollution is released as a result.’

A 110 kWe solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) trigeneration unit has been operating successfully at the facilities of Gas Turbine Technologies S.p.A. (GTT) in Torino, Italy, for more than a year now (over 9000 operational hours), and has produced approximately 1100 MWh of electricity for export to the grid. The natural gas-fuelled system also generates 60 kW of thermal energy.