China Renewable Energy Industry Update: Jul. 5

Posted by Reading Time: 10 minutes

Jul. 5 – This is a regular series of relevant industry news from around China.

Wind power installation costs in China drop to US$463 per kilowatt
The cost of wind power equipment installation in China dropped by 12.5 percent on the year in 2010 to US$463 per kilowatt, Greenpeace International and the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association write in a recent report.

The country remained the global leader in terms of installed capacity with 44.73 gigawatts at year end-2010. It added 18.9 gigawatts of fresh wind power capacity during the year.

At present, the price of on-grid wind power is around CNY 0.51 to CNY 0.61 per kWh, which is 30 percent above conventional power sources. Around 56 percent of the market is in the hands of the country’s top five power producers.

In 2010, China Guodian Group remained number one in terms of wind power installations. It bolstered its wind power capacity by 3.49 gigawatts to 8.94 gigawatts. At the same time, Shanghai Electric Group and China Creative Wind Energy joined the top 10 wind power equipment suppliers in 2010.

Under China’s 12th Five-Year Plan, wind power capacity in the country is to grow to 100 gigawatts by 2015. Of the total, offshore wind is to contribute 5 gigawatts.

China WindPower to spin off, list wind power tower tube operations
China WindPower Group Ltd said on June 20 it had received the green light from the Hong Kong stock exchange to spin off and list its wind power tower tube manufacturing operations.

Via the move, the company seeks to focus on its core activities and to more efficiently allocate financial resources. China WindPower’s core operations include the development of wind farm projects and the provision of engineering and construction, operations and maintenance and other services to wind power facilities.

At present, two wholly-owned units of the company are in charge of its wind power tower tube business. The company plans to reorganize it so that its subsidiary Tianhe New Energy Equipment Ltd becomes the holding company. As part of the plan, Tianhe is to gradually expand its business to include solar power equipment manufacturing.

The spin-off and listing are pending the go-ahead from China WindPower and Tianhe’s boards.

Opel Solar JV wins second order in China
High concentration photovoltaics (HCPV) maker Opel Solar International said on June 20 that its recently set up joint venture Opel Solar Asia had won a second order from China.

In April, the entity secured a contract to supply 5 megawatts of HCPV solar panels and dual axis trackers in China. The new order, received by one of China’s top five electricity companies, nearly doubles the amount. Delivery is to start in the second half of 2011 and be completed in 2012.

Opel Solar Asia is a joint company of Opel Solar International’s unit Opel Solar Inc and Hong Kong-based Ecotech Environmental Technology Ltd. Its primary target is the Chinese market, seen by experts as the fastest-growing HCPV solar market in the world.

Siemens gets wind turbine order from China
German Siemens AG said on June 21 it would supply 21 wind turbines of a 2.3-megawatt capacity for an offshore wind power project in Jiangsu Province in eastern China.

Siemens added that the order came from a unit of wind farm developer and operator China Longyuan Power Group Corp without providing any financial details. The project is to be completed by the end of this year.

China to boost offshore wind power capacity to 30 gigawatts by 2020
China plans to bolster its installed offshore wind power capacity to 5 gigawatts by 2015 and to 30 gigawatts by 2020, news agency Xinhua writes, citing the National Energy Administration.

In the first half of 2012, the country is to complete a public tender for the second round of offshore wind concession projects with a combined capacity of 1.5 gigawatts to 2 gigawatts.

China is suffering from severe summer power shortages, as power generation facilities and transmission systems fail to meet growing demand during the season. This summer, capacity shortfall is to reach 30 gigawatts, the China Electricity Council estimates.

According to Liu Qi, deputy director of the National Energy Administration, China needs to speed up the establishment of an advanced and fully-equipped offshore wind power sector to promote large-scale development.

The only operating offshore wind power plant outside Europe, kicked off work in the summer of 2010 off the coast of Shanghai. The facility has a capacity of 100 megawatts.

Chinese Anwell receives US$108 million in gov’t funding for solar panel plant expansion
China’s Anwell Technologies Ltd said it had obtained CNY700 million (US$108.3 million) in local government funding to boost the capacity of its thin-film panel factory in China’s Henan Province.

The company, which is a supplier of manufacturing equipment for the optical disc and solar industries, said its unit Henan Sungen Solar Fab Co Ltd would receive the amount from the Municipal Government of Anyang City.

The long-term financing includes CNY200 million (US$30.84 million) in cash funding and a government-backed guarantee of up to CNY500 million (US$77.10 million) of bank loan, Anwell said.

Franky Fan, executive chairman and CEO, said the company planned to increase its solar panel production capacity to 1.5 gigawatts in five years with government backing. Anwell added that it would also enter talks with the local government of another Chinese city to finance its second thin-film solar panels plant.

China’s geothermal market seen at US$10.80 billion
The Chinese geothermal energy market is seen to reach US$10.8 billion, thanks to the government’s efforts to speed up the sector’s growth in the coming five years, People’s Daily writes.

As part of China’s 12th Five-Year Plan to 2015, geothermal power is to provide heating and air conditioning for 350 million square meters (3.8 billion square feet) of indoor space. At an estimated investment of US$30.84 per square meter, the amount reaches US$10.8 billion, said Li Yuanpu of the Chinese Renewable Energy Society.

At present, geothermal installations cater for the heating and cooling of some 2,236 construction projects.

By 2015, geothermal power will save China 68.8 million tons of coal, according to Guan Fengjun, head of the geological environment department of the Ministry of Land and Resources, cited by People’s Daily. The amount will cover 1.7 percent of the national electricity demand.

Fengjun added that the ministry plans to soon initiate a national survey on the use of geothermal energy. According to preliminary estimates, China has 12 geothermal basins that could offset the use of 853 billion tons of coal.

China targets 20 percent share of alternative energies by 2030
Han Wenke, head of energy research at China’s National Development and Reform Commission announced that the country will seek to source 20 percent of its energy mix from renewables and nuclear power by 2030.

The share of alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear is planned to reach 33 percent by 2050. At the end of 2009, non-fossils brought 9.6 percent of China’s energy consumption.

At the same time, the Asian country targets 284 gigawatts of installed hydroelectric capacity by 2015 and 330 gigawatts by 2020.

Minjiang Hydropower resumes operations at Caopo power facility
Chinese Sichuan Minjiang Hydropower said on June 23 it had resumed operations at two units of its Caopo power facility, which was hit by an earthquake in 2008.

The power plant has been severely damaged by the earthquake on May 12, 2008 that hit western Sichuan. Unit number three at the facility is to resume work “in the near future,” the hydropower producer said.

China to pump US$62 billion in four hydropower plants
China will invest CNY400 billion (US$61.80 billion to build four hydropower plants on the Jinsha River, China Daily reported on June 23.

China Three Gorges Corp will build the four hydropower dams, which will have a combined installed capacity of 43 million kilowatts and will be able to produce 190 billion kWh of electricity a year, according to the China Daily.

Li Jing, deputy director of the company’s planning and development department said that part of the investment will be provided through equity transactions, without disclosing further details.

The company expects to switch on two of the plants in the next two years. The Xiluodu plant with 6.4 million kilowatt capacity is scheduled to open in 2012 and the 13.68 million kilowatt Xiangjiaba plant in 2013.

China begins cleanup among polysilicon manufacturers
China intends to strike off from its list those polysilicon producers that do not meet the Industry and Information Technology Ministry’s environmental, production size and energy efficiency criteria.

The news came from the 21st Century Business Herald, which is citing sources from Chinese silicon wafer maker GCL-Poly Energy Holdings. According to the report, manufacturers who fail to satisfy the ministry’s requirements will have to reorganize their operations or quit the industry in the next two years.

Chinese photovoltaic market to grow 60.9 percent by 2017
Installed photovoltaic capacity in China is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 60.9 percent in 2010-2017, according to a Frost & Sullivan report published by consultancy Research and Markets.

The Chinese Photovoltaic Market report released in April says that the growth expectations are mainly driven by the robust government support for the solar power sector.

According to the report, the Chinese government is promoting the domestic photovoltaic market to reduce the dependency of the Chinese solar industry on foreign markets. At present, some 90 percent of China-made photovoltaic products are being sold abroad, mainly in European countries such as Germany and Spain.

The analyst expects total revenue and installed capacity to rise but with steadily declining growth rate. Thin-film and concentrator silicon technologies are seen to gradually take the market share from the traditional crystalline silicon technology.

Intense competition in the domestic photovoltaic market hits the revenue growth at present, as installers are bidding for photovoltaic projects through huge reductions in the on-grid price, the report notes.

CNPC delivers first renewable jet fuel
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has delivered its first 15 tons of renewable jet fuel for use in a demonstration flight, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

The company is working in cooperations on assessing and demonstrating the biofuel with air carrier Air China Ltd, U.S. aircraft maker Boeing Co and UOP LLC, a specialist in petroleum refining technologies wholly owned by Honeywell International. CNPC’s subsidiary PetroChina is to supply the biofuel.

Swiss Meyer Burger secures US$192.70 million order in China
Swiss machine maker Meyer Burger announced on June 29 it received an order worth over US$192.7 million from Chinese polysilicon and solar wafer provider GCL Poly Energy Holding.

Meyer Burger’s subsidiaries, MB Wafertec and Hennecke, will supply the Chinese firm with precision wire saws and inspection systems. GCL-Poly will use them for manufacturing multi-crystalline solar wafers.

Yingli Green Energy secures 110-megawatt photovoltaic module order from Huanghe Hydropower
Chinese solar energy firm Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd said on June 30 it had received an order for 110 megawatts of photovoltaic modules from Huanghe Hydropower Development Co Ltd.

The company will be the largest supplier for two ground-mounted solar power projects in Qinghai Province developed by Huanghe. Of the contracted amount, 30 megawatts will be installed for a project in the city of Wulan, while the rest will be installed at a facility in Golmud.

Delivery of the modules is to take place between June and August 2011. Huanghe is a subsidiary of China Power Investment Corp.

China Longyuan begins development of 150-megawatt offshore wind farm
China Longyuan Power Group Corp last week announced it had started work on a 150-megawatt intertidal demonstration offshore wind power project in Jiangsu Province in eastern China.

The wind farm developer and operator said that the first 100-megawatt phase of the project is to come on stream in 2011. The whole facility, located in the Rudong county, will be up and running in 2012. The wind turbine units at the site will each have a capacity of at least 2 megawatts.

According to a report by sector analyst BTM, total installed offshore wind power capacity around the globe will reach 26 gigawatts by 2015. At the end of 2010 it amounted to 3,554 megawatts, while this year newly-added capacity is projected at 1,400 megawatts.

China alone plans to bolster its installed offshore wind power capacity to 5 gigawatts by 2015 and to 30 gigawatts by 2020. News agency Xinhua reported earlier in June, citing the National Energy Administration, that in the first half of 2012, the country is to complete a public tender for the second round of offshore wind concession projects with a combined capacity of 1.5 gigawatts to 2 gigawatts.

Huaneng Power to sell biomass power unit for US$16.5 million
Chinese power producer Huaneng Power International said on June 29 it had agreed to sell its 100 percent stake in biomass power producer Jilin Biological for CNY106.3 million (US$16.5 million) in cash. The agreement was struck with Huaneng Jilin Co, an affiliate of Huaneng Power.

Huaneng Power expects that Jilin Biological may not be able to book a profit once its biomass power facility comes on stream due to rising raw material prices on the domestic market and the prevailing electricity tariffs. In addition, Huaneng Power does not have any projects in the province of Jilin and the disposal of Jilin Biological will allow it to improve management efficiency.

Trina Solar to supply 55 megawatts of photovoltaic modules to power Renault factories
Chinese Trina Solar Ltd said last week it would provide 55 megawatts of solar modules for installation at several factories in France, owned by domestic car maker Renault.

The projects at Renault’s facilities in Douai, Maubeuge, Flins, Batilly and Sandouville are being developed by Spanish photovoltaic projects developer Gestamp Asetym Solar.

Deliveries of Trina Solar modules will take place between June and November 2011, the solar photovoltaic products maker said. When installed, the modules will cover some 415,000 square meters (4.5 million square feet) of parking lot shelters and will produce enough electricity for a city with a population of 14,000.

JA Solar to expand solar wafer capacity through sector buy
Chinese photovoltaic equipment major JA Solar announced on July 1 that it would expand its solar wafer capacity to 785 megawatts through the acquisition of a domestic sector firm.

The company has agreed to acquire all of the stock of Silver Age Holdings Ltd, the parent company of solar wafer maker Solar Silicon Valley Electronic Science and Technology Co Ltd. The subsidiary runs a 485-megawatt wafer manufacturing plant in Hebei Province. It also makes quartz crucibles, a major material used in the solar manufacturing sector.

Through the deal, JA Solar targets significant economies of scale, enhanced gross margins and operational optimization. It will pay for the acquisition with 30.9 million of ordinary shares priced at US$5.825 apiece. The price is equal to the 45-day volume-weighted average price of JA Solar’s stock, while it represents a premium of 5 percent to the last closing price of its shares prior to the announcement.

The consideration for the acquisition is around 2.6 times higher than Solar Silicon’s net profit for 2010, JA Solar said.

The transaction is to close in the third quarter of 2011. It is pending regulatory clearance and other customary closing conditions.

This industry report brief is courtesy of AII Data Processing.

Related Reading

Foreign Investment in China’s Green Sector
The June issue of China Briefing magazine offering an overview of the country’s renewable energy sector and discussing environment-related tax incentives before concluding with a look at foreign involvement in China’s green building industry.