Library filed under Energy Policy from Asia
Some of China's leading large-scale wind power businesses have been lobbying the government to slow the growth of the industry because of alleged over-capacity They appeared to have won the debate in September when the State Council, China's Cabinet, approved a document from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and nine other ministries, stipulating the NDRC would hold back funding or approval for projects in industries with production overcapacity. Wind energy was among the industries listed.
However, several years ago, a utility company that owns the grids started limiting acceptance of wind electricity from the wind farm. Council officials were told that the large influxes of wind-generated power in the grids had caused "fluctuations in output and frequency," and "lowered the quality of the electricity supply." In supplying electricity nationwide, the major utility companies meticulously balance output with demand to stabilize the voltage and frequency supplied by their networks.
He says that by 2020, the US, Europe, China and India will want to have 20% of their power supply from renewables. The issue is about making wind power "cost competitive" with carbon sources, especially coal, which fuels 65% of India's electricity and costs at least a quarter less. "Today wind power is just 1% of supply. It can grow to 7% by 2020. That is the maximum because industry has to find resources, material and execute projects. With greater volumes the price [of wind power] will drop ... and [governments] will ask what is the cost for pollution from carbon fuels. You will need a carbon tax. "
Experts complain that the established power utilities require producers to generate an overly high quality of electricity, further hindering the expansion of wind power. Given the difficult geographic conditions, plans to build offshore wind stations are drawing more attention as such facilities increase in Europe. Although the continental shelf surrounding Japan is not wide, the potential is there, experts said. "Since Japan doesn't have much space left on land, offshore farms will be promising in the next stage," Imamura said.
China promised today to develop renewable energy for its fast-growing economy but warned that coal consumption will grow dramatically and avoided embracing binding limits on its greenhouse gas emissions. In a report on its energy plans, the government announced no new initiatives but said it wants to curb reliance on oil and gas to drive an economy that is the world's second-biggest energy consumer after the United States. ...Beijing has rejected such limits, arguing that developing countries such as China are not to blame for current pollution levels and need to increase energy production to fight poverty. The report said China will expand measures to exploit its abundant coal reserves - a step that will help to reduce reliance on imported fuel but could sharply raise greenhouse gas outputs.
A strong bias toward local producers and rigid price controls hinder European investors from making significant inroads into China's vast energy sector ... "Energy is sometimes also a national battlefield in Europe. But China is even more so." This nationalism, Wuttke said, was reinforced by an antitrust law passed last week that set rules to protect big state power firms from foreign acquisitions and to require potential international investors to meet strict national security criteria. Beijing also requires investors to use 70 percent Chinese equipment in foreign-invested wind farms, and a similar local content requirement was recently slapped on the booming petrochemical sector, which Wuttke said went against China's commitments in 2001 when it joined the World Trade Organisation.
The new India has urgent energy needs to sustain its economic boom, and great potential for wind energy. Today it accounts for less than 5 per cent of total generation. To meet its electricity generation target of 400,000MW by 2030 it will rely not on renewable energy but on large-scale coal-fired power plants, which are the cheapest to operate. Today Today 62 per cent of India's electricity is powered by coal. Wind energy makes little sense for private investors without the big tax breaks offered by the Government. According to Ameen Ahmed, a wildlife campaigner in Karnataka, they are "not worth the environmental damage" that they cause. The turbines "have devastated large tracts of forest and many villagers complain about the noise pollution". There have also been reports of the whirring driving bears from their natural habitat.
"India has a wind power potential of 20,000 Mw for immediate exploitation and you don't have to import wind from the West Asia because it is freely available," he added. So can wind power help solve India's power crisis? "Absolutely not,"said a senior MNRE official adding that it could be supplementary but would never replace the conventional energy sources. Wind energy is called ‘infirm power' because it is subject to nature's vagaries, which affects its availability. According to a senior Central Electricity Authority (CEA) official, wind is abundantly available only during monsoons and is also temperature dependent, which does not allow for planned addition of wind energy to the grid. This means it cannot be used for meeting the peak demand.
China unveiled its first national climate change plan today.
BEIJING - China acknowledged Monday that it soon may become the world's biggest source of harmful greenhouse gases but said the United States and other advanced countries must take the lead in fighting global warming because they had been polluting heavily for longer.
From Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to E.ON, the world's largest companies are investing in wind power, the best-performing energy in the past year. Led by Vestas Wind Systems and Iberdrola of Spain, utilities and governments in the United States, China and Europe will spend as much as $150 billion on wind projects in the next five years, according to CLSA Research. Lawmakers are providing financial incentives because windmills are non-polluting and cost less than solar projects. "Wind has the biggest potential to meet renewable energy targets over the next decade, compared with solar and biofuels," said Philippe de Weck, who started the Pictet Clean Energy fund last month for Pictet in Geneva.
Either way, the politics of climate change are no longer the internal quarrels of the Western world alone. They have finally reached the global stage. Europe has now to choose between a pragmatic long-term policy that allows growing prosperity to develop and adopt cleaner industries or a continuation of short-sighted unilateralism that has failed to achieve its basic goals.
The demand for natural gas, hydropower and nuclear power will grow in the coming years and by 2050 solar energy, wind energy and biomass energy will account for 15 percent of the nation's total energy consumption, said Yan.
Hudi Hastowo told reporters that while there would be no technical or economic problems with building a nuclear plant, achieving public acceptance would still be difficult. "We'll hold a public awareness campaign, since we don't have any other options to deal with future power shortages (apart from nuclear energy)," he said. "Remote villages may use solar panels or wind turbines but those technologies can't generate the massive amounts of power needed for industry."
Policymakers have settled on 'emissions trading' as their favorite global-warming fix. But it isn't working. March 12, 2007 issue - Global warming isn't the only debate that may be over. Governments and policymakers around the world also seem to have settled on a solution. "A responsible approach to solving this crisis," Al Gore said recently at New York University's Law School, would be "to authorize the trading of emissions ... globally." Emissions trading, also called carbon trading, is being expanded in the European Union and Japan. And in many places where it's yet to take hold, like Sacramento, Sydney and Beijing, politicians are embracing it. Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank and Europe's foremost political expert on global warming, predicts that the value of carbon credits in circulation, now about $28 billion, will climb to $40 billion by 2010. This should be great news for the environment, but many experts have their doubts. The notion that emissions trading is going to make a significant dent in global warming is deeply flawed, they say. Current emissions-trading schemes have proved to be little more than a shell game, allowing polluters in the developed world to shift the burden of making cuts onto factories in the developing world.
Since the oil shocks of the 1970s, governments around the world have paid plenty of lip service to renewable energies such as wind and solar power. But only a few governments have been able to engineer policies that have begun to bring alternative energies into wider use. Renewable fuels provided 18% of the world’s total electricity supply in 2004, according to figures from the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based intergovernmental organization. Almost all of that, though, came from hydropower, a source with limited growth potential because of geographic constraints. The use of wind and solar power is growing, but they still generated only 1% of global electricity production in 2004, the latest year for which figures are available.
China is expected to overtake Germany and the United States to become the world's largest wind power producer by 2020, a report forecast. The 2006 Annual Report on China's New Energy Industry says that the 10th Five-Year Plan (2000-2005) period saw a rapid development of wind power industry, with the installed capacity rose by 30 percent on an annual average, rising from 350,000 kw in 2000 to 1.26 million kw in 2005, ranking 7th in the world.
As part of international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the government is considering whether to introduce higher mandatory targets for renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, for the country’s utilities in fiscal 2011-14. The obligatory use of new sources of energy is in line with the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) program outlined in the Special Measures Law Concerning the Use of New Energy by Electric Utilities–known as the RPS Law–which came into effect in fiscal 2003. The law obliges utilities to rely on five kinds of renewable energy–wind, low-head microhydraulic, biomass, solar and geothermal power–for more than 1.35 percent of their electricity by fiscal 2010, or 12.2 billion kilowatt-hours of what they sell nationwide. But, given the technical challenges to achieving the target quickly, power companies have been given a transitional allowance to gradually meet the target by fiscal 2010, beginning from 0.39 percent in fiscal 2003. The mandatory level for fiscal 2006 is 0.52 percent.
Indigenous peoples from the Amazon to Asia said on Wednesday that U.N.-backed clean energy projects meant to combat global warming were aggravating threats to their livelihoods. They said hydropower projects or plantations of fast-growing trees, prompted by a billion-dollar scheme under the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol for limiting the planet’s dependence on fossil fuels, were damaging nature. “We are not only victims of climate change, we are now victims of the carbon market,” Jocelyn Therese, a spokesman for indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin, told a news conference on the fringes of U.N. talks on global warming. “Efforts that are supposed to…retard climate change are having an equally disastrous effect,” said Ana Pinto, representing indigenous peoples in India.
A U.N. conference working to fix long-term rules to fight global warming beyond 2012 "as soon as possible" was split on Tuesday over whether that meant an accord should be struck in 2008, 2009 or even 2010. Industrial investors, weighing options ranging from coal-fired power plants to wind energy, are frustrated at the possibility of years of uncertainty about rules for fossil fuel emissions upon which carbon markets depend.