China on course to be world’s Smart Grid leader by 2015

China is set to take a commanding lead in the Smart Grid market now that the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) has announced it will install more than 300m smart meters by the end of 2015, according to a research report by Zpryme.

China will use technology mostly from the US and Taiwan for the meter rollout, with Landis+Gyr and General Electric both actively involved.

SGCC supplies power to more than 1bn people, 88 per cent of China’s population. Rather than retrofitting the equipment to an outdated transmission system, the company has the advantage of being able to build it into infrastructure from scratch.

SGCC had installed 36 million smart meters by 2011, and plans to invest about $100bn in Smart Grid technologies as part of a $400bn investment in transmission infrastructure across the country.

China plans to spend about $473bn under its five-year plan for the build-out of 15 GW of solar and 100 GW of wind – the transmission infrastructure is critical so all that new energy can connect to the grid.

SGCC says it will finish the transmission infrastructure by 2016, creating a unified national grid in China for the first time.

SGCC has already tested 238 Smart Grid pilot projects.

China’s financing muscle puts it in poll position to build Turkish nuclear plant

China appears to be leading the pack in the contest to build a new nuclear power station on Turkey’s Black Sea coast.

Beijing is not looking for government guarantees for the project and can supply its own financing, according to an Ankara official.

“They don’t have a financing problem. If they agree, they will build it,” said the Turkish energy official.

State-backed nuclear groups China National Nuclear Corp and China Guangdong Nuclear Power have ambitions to become global suppliers of nuclear energy.

Japan and UK sign nuclear agreement

Japan and the UK have signed a pact on nuclear power which will open the door to Japanese companies entering the UK market and give British firms a slice of Japan’s multi-billion decommissioning market.

The deal will also see the UK share expertise, experience and technology in the remediation, decontamination and decommissioning of the Fukushima nuclear site.

The deal was announced as part of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s first official visit to Japan.

Six-fold rise in wind power generation in New Zealand

A six-fold increase of wind farm generation in New Zealand will enable wind to meet 20 per cent of the country’s electricity demand by 2030, found analysis by the New Zealand Wind Energy Association (NZWEA).

NZWEA expects wind capacity to surge between 2012 and 2030, to at least 3500 MW, up from 622 MW. This is a big increase on the 5 per cent of electricity generated by wind turbines today.

The report – Wind Energy 2030: the growing role for Wind Energy in New Zealand’s electricity system – looks at the relative costs of all major forms of electricity generation and potential for future growth.

It comes to the conclusion that, while all forms of renewable generation will grow to meet increasing demand, wind energy is poised for the biggest increase.

“We live in a lucky country with an exceptional wind resource,” said NZWEA’s Eric Pyle. “Experienced developers are already seeing wind as the most cost effective way of generating electricity.”

Indian $1.1bn coal plant unit fires up

Essar Energy, the India focused integrated energy company, has announced commercial operations have begun at the 600 MW unit 1 of its 1200 MW Salaya I coal power project.

Unit 2 at Salaya I, also of 600 MW, has been synchronised with the transmission grid and is expected to begin commercial operations in the coming weeks.

The coal fired Salaya I project is located in Gujarat state and is being built at a total investment cost of $1.1 billion.

Most of the power produced will be sold to the Gujarat state electricity utility, GUVNL, under a long term contract.

India set for Asia’s largest CSP plant

Areva Solar is to build Asia’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) project in India after winning the contract from Reliance Power.

The company – a subsidiary of Areva – will build two 125 MW CSP plants in Rajasthan.

The first phase of the project is under construction, with a target operational date of May 2013.

India wants to add 20 GW of solar energy by 2022.

Areva chief executive Luc Oursel said: “This contract reinforces the Areva strategy in renewable energies.”

•••

Australia: David Green, the new head of Australia’s Clean Energy Council, has said the country has the potential to be a world leader in renewable technologies. “Australia could make a mark on the global market, particularly in Asia, where there is enormous potential for renewable energy.”

China: Praxair China has won a contract with Changzhou Trina Solar Energy to supply silane, ammonia, argon, nitrogen and oxygen to Trina’s new production facility in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province.

China: The world’s biggest carbon emitter, China, has set a price for electricity generated from waste-to-energy plants that is double that paid to coal fired projects in a move aimed at encouraging renewable energy development.

China: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Shanghai Diesel Engine Co are to establish Shanghai MHI Engine Co to manufacture and market diesel engines in China. The company is set to begin manufacturing in December.

China: Fuel Tech, a supplier of engineering solutions for combustion and emissions control systems, has won $2m in orders to supply air pollution control systems in China. Deliveries are due later this year.

India: India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has become the first new member of the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme since its inception in 2006. India has 20 operational nuclear reactors totalling 4780 MW.

Indonesia: IPR-GDF SUEZ Asia is part of a partnership which has agreed to develop geothermal projects in Indonesia. The company, together with PT Supreme Energy and Sumitomo Corp, has signed a 30-year power purchase agreement for two 220 MW geothermal projects with PLN, the utility of Indonesia.

Indonesia: Emerson Process Management is to install its Ovation expert control system at a new 660 MW supercritical coal power plant in Indonesia built by China National Technical Import and Export Corporation and scheduled to be commissioned in February 2013.

Philippines: President Benigno Aquino III was due to attend an energy summit on April 13 where the power crisis in Mindanao was to be addressed.

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