China to invest $40 bln in ultra-high voltage power grid

According to a plan of the State Grid Corporation of China, total investment in the construction of ultra-high voltage (UHV) power grid will reach 270 billion yuan (around 40 billion U.S. dollars) in the coming five years, reported today’s China Business News.

In early August, Southeastern Shanxi-Nanyang-Jingmen ultra-high voltage AC transmission line, a key project of the State Grid, passed national inspection and was approved, meaning China’s power grid system has entered the UHV era.

China Business News quoted an unidentified source with the power transmission sector who said that "the development of UHV power grid will be included in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan for energy development."

China’s first UHV pilot project, Southeastern Shanxi-Jingmen 1000 KV UHV AC transmission line, was put into operation on Jan. 16, 2009. Xiangjiaba-Shanghai 800 KV UHV DC transmission line went into operation on July 8, 2010.

The State Grid estimated that by 2020, UHV power grids will transmit 84 percent of the total 234 million kilowatts of electricity from coal-fired power plants in Shanxi, Shaanxi, Inner Mogolia, Ningxia and Xinjiang to central and eastern regions.

"Fifty-three million kilowatts of electricity will be transmitted from hydropower plants in southwestern China to the coastal regions by 2020," said an insider from the State Grid.

UHV power grids will also shoulder power transmission tasks for hydropower plants in western China. The 12 provinces in western regions have an overall exploitable hydropower capacity of 440 million kilowatts, and most of the power generated will be transmitted to central and eastern China.

Meanwhile, as four out of China’s seven planned 10 million kilowatt wind power bases are located in western China, UHV power grids will benefit the development of wind farm too.

Clean energy to dominate energy consumption in China after 2040

Clean energy wound not play a dominant role in satisfying the energy demand in China until 2040, quoted Li Junfeng, vice director with Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission as saying.

Li said that non-fossil fuels would take 12-13 percent in the primary energy consumption in China by 2015. Li suggested China focusing on the development of hydropower, wind energy, solar power and biomass energy.