China Renewable Energy Industry Update: Jun. 21

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Jun. 21 – This is a regular series of relevant industry news from around China.

China’s Jan-May 2011 hydroelectric capacity rises by 3.93 gigawatts
China installed 3.93 gigawatts of hydropower capacity and 15.38 gigawatts of thermal capacity in the first five months of 2011, according to data from the National Energy Administration.

National power consumption for the period climbed by 12 percent in annual terms to 1,854.5 TWh. In May alone, power consumption was up 10.8 percent to 386.5 TWh.

Power generating facilities throughout China booked average utilization hours of 1,937 hours for the five-month period, up 30 hours on the year. Hydropower generation installations reported average utilization hours of 1,076 hours, or 24 hours more than a year before.

Beijing Kinglong New Energy boosts Australian presence with new office
Solar inverter maker Beijing Kinglong New Energy Technology Co Ltd (KLNE) has opened an office in Australia as part of its plan to grow its business in the country.

The new Melbourne office will provide support services to the company’s clients in Australia and will operate as a service center. In addition, the location will serve as the contact point for all warranty inquiries and as an administration center for the KLNE extended warranty program.

LDK Solar wraps up sale of minority stake in polysilicon unit
Chinese solar wafer maker LDK Solar earlier this month said it had closed the sale of an 18.46 percent stake in its polysilicon unit LDK Silicon & Chemical Technology Co Ltd for US$240 million.

The buyers include China Development Bank International Holdings, a unit of China Development Bank Corp, and investment funds Apollo Asia Investment and Excel Rise Holdings and Prosper East, affiliates of China Construction Bank Corp.

The deal was agreed in December 2010. LDK solar will keep the remaining 81.54 percent stake in the polysilicon subsidiary.

China’s wind power equipment production capacity to rise to 32.6 gigawatts in 2011
Production capacity for wind power equipment in China is expected to grow to 32.6 gigawatts this year from 27 gigawatts at the end of 2010, according to a report by consultancy Research and Markets.

The report entitled “China Wind Power Equipment and Parts Industry Report: 2010-2011” says that China’s wind power equipment sector showed robust growth in 2010 thanks to the rapid development of the wind power industry.

Some 12,904 wind turbine sets with a total capacity of 18,928 megawatts were installed in China last year, increasing 37 percent year-on-year and marking the largest figure globally, according to the report.

Local producers dominated the market for wind generators in China. Main domestic producers include Sinovel, Goldwind and Dongfang Electric Corp, which together accounted for 56.8 percent of the total newly installed capacity.

Turbine blades were with the highest localization rate among wind power equipment components, the report says. AVIC Huiteng Windpower Equipment Co Ltd occupied a 10 percent market share with the largest production capacity for blades last year. The report projects the turbine blade sector to experience overcapacity due to several new entrants.

The report also identified a relatively high market concentration in the field of turbine gearboxes, with Nanjing High-Speed & Accurate Gear Group, Chongqing Gearbox & Machinery and Hangzhou Advance Gearbox Group dominating the market.

CTDC, Goldpoly, TBEA consortium targets Europe’s photovoltaic market
China Technology Development Group, Goldpoly New Energy and a unit of TBEA Co have formed a photovoltaics investment consortium targeting the European photovoltaic market. CTDC made the announcement during Intersolar Europe 2011, which ran earlier this month in Munich.

The consortium’s projects will include photovoltaic installations on islands in China, the development of residential solar projects in France and the establishment of a renewable energy fund. The three partners also intend to set up a project company to invest in and build small-scale solar parks. A transition to large-scale projects is planned for the future.

CTDC, Goldpoly and TBEA SunOasis Co will cooperate in all levels of the vertically integrated solar value chain. The consortium will supply crystal silicon raw materials, solar wafers and cells, modules, and inverters.

“As a solar solution provider, we will be able to reduce [engineering, procurement and construction] cost by 5 percent annually for the next three years in building solar plants in Europe,” Alan Li, CTDC chairman and chief executive, said.

GCL-Poly Energy to postpone bond issue on market fluctuations
GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd said on June 14 it would put on hold a planned bond issue of US$250 million to US$300 million as a result of the current volatility on the global financial markets.

The Hong Kong-based company makes silicon wafers and operates renewable energy power plants. It said it would resume the offering when conditions improved.

Goldwind to purchase USD 15m of Jingneng Clean Energy shares
Chinese wind turbine maker Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology said on June 15 it would subscribe for up to US$15 million in Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy Co Ltd stock. The exact price of the shares will be set during Jingneng’s initial public offering in Hong Kong. The shares are seen to start trading in July.

Jingneng operates gas-fired power and heat installations as well as wind power, hydroelectric and other clean energy facilities. The company closed 2010 with an installed capacity of 2,255 megawatts, of which wind power accounted for 1,059 megawatts.

Via its investment in Jingneng, Goldwind seeks to enhance its cooperation with the company, which is among its top customers.

Celanese to begin ethanol production in China by mid-2013
U.S. chemical firm Celanese Corp on June 15 said it would start ethanol production in China by the middle of 2013, earlier than previously announced. The company earlier planned to open one to two ethanol production plants in China in the next 30 months.

Now it would speed up its plans by 6 to 12 months ahead and expand its existing integrated acetyl facility in China with its TCX advanced technology to produce ethanol from hydrocarbon-sourced feedstock. The modifications would lead to additional 200,000 tons of ethanol production capacity by the middle of 2013, the company said.

Celanese said also that it had started the construction of its technology development unit for ethanol production at its facility in Clear Lake, Texas, which is expected to become operational by the middle of 2012. The company also plans to build a research and development center at the Clear Lake site to continue the advancement of its acetyl and TCX technologies.

Wells Fargo, China Guodian to explore wind power opportunities in the United States
U.S. financial services provider Wells Fargo & Co on June 16 said it had teamed up with Guodian United Power Technology Co Ltd, a unit of state-run utility China Guodian, to explore opportunities in the U.S. wind power market.

The partnership would help wind turbine producer Guodian United Power expand its U.S. presence, the company’s general manager, Liu Dongyuan, said.

Wells Fargo said it had poured some US$1.5 billion in wind power projects so far. The company has invested in some 250 renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of 4.2 gigawatts in 25 states of the United States.

Etrion orders photovoltaic modules from Yingli Green for 10 megawatt project in Italy
Swiss-based solar energy company Etrion Corp said on June 16 it had ordered photovoltaic modules for a 10 megawatt solar power project in Italy form China-based Yingli Green Energy. No financial details were available.

The Helios ITA-3 project comprises two 5-megawatt ground-mounted solar photovoltaic parks currently under construction in Brindisi and Mesagne, in the southeastern Italian region of Puglia. Construction is due to be completed by the end of August 2011.

JinkoSolar opens new R&D facility in China
Chinese solar products maker JinkoSolar Holdings unveiled on June 17 the opening of a new research and development center in China where the company will work on solar cells with greater conversion efficiency.

The new R&D unit will seek to bolster the conversion efficiency of monocrystalline and multicrystalline cells to above 18.6 percent and 17.5 percent, respectively. At present, the average efficiency of monocrystalline cells is 18.1 percent, while that of multicrystalline cells is 16.8 percent. JinkoSolar’s R&D technology head Chaolin Zha will lead the R&D center.

As a result of the efforts of the new R&D center, JinkoSolar plans to roll out high-efficiency modules called “Blue Cell.” The market debut of the modules in planned for the third quarter of 2011.

Sino Fibre’s biomass unit secures US$25m in orders from Cyprus, Greece
U.S. Sino Fibre Communications announced that its China-based biomass technology unit Dalian Xinbao Biomass had secured US$25 million in contracts from Cyprus and Greece for 15 biomass facilities.

The units will use olive residue, a by-product from the process of olive oil extraction, and anaerobic combustion to produce clean energy. The 15 facilities together are estimated to save as much as 78,000 tons of coal each year.

The order from Cyprus includes five anaerobic combustion installations that can jointly produce some 43.8 GWh a year. The other 10 of the contracted systems are for customers in Greece.

Near the end of May, Sino Fibre wrapped up the acquisition of a 60 percent stake in Dalian Xinbao Biomass for US$50.75 million in stock.

China Merchants Bank, China Development Bank to support Chinese consortium
China Merchants Bank and China Development Bank will provide up to US$10 billion in credit facilities to support the plans of a recently-formed Chinese consortium to develop solar power in Europe.

The consortium includes China Technology Development Group, Goldpoly New Energy and TBEA SunOasis, a unit of TBEA. The partners plan to set up a project company to invest in and build small-scale solar parks in Europe. A transition to large-scale projects is planned for the future. The establishment of a renewable energy fund is also on the agenda. The companies believe that Germany’s nuclear give-up will be a key driver for the European solar market.

CTDC, Goldpoly and TBEA SunOasis will cooperate in all levels of the vertically integrated solar value chain. The consortium will make solar modules with China-made crystal silicon raw materials, solar wafers and cells, modules, and inverters.

China Sunergy cuts Q2 2011 shipments forecast
Solar product maker China Sunergy on June 17 announced a reduction in its module shipments outlook for the second quarter due to project financing delays that led to postponement of some shipments.

The company projects solar module shipments of 100 megawatts to 110 megawatts for the current quarter, down from the earlier expected 120 megawatts to 130 megawatts, because some European customers faced delays in the approval of their project credits and delayed shipments to July.

Sunergy also cut its total gross margin forecast to 1 percent from 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent and expects gross margin relating to the in-house production to 3 percent compared 12 percent to 13 percent seen earlier. The reason are short-term factors such as the higher proportion of higher-cost inventory in expected second-quarter shipments, increased non-silicon costs, and a faster-than-expected fall in average selling prices for solar modules.

The company revised down its full-year shipment outlook as well to 580 megawatts to 600 megawatts of solar modules from its previous guidance of 670 megawatts to 690 megawatts due to the financing delays that could led to order cancellations, although demand is robust.

This industry report brief is courtesy of AII Data Processing.

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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.