China can solve wasted renewable energy problem by 2020

BEIJING, Oct 16 (Reuters) – China expects to solve the problem of renewable energy going to waste by 2020, an official at the National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Monday, as the government takes aim at one of the biggest challenges in its efforts to promote clean energy.

Liang Zhipeng, deputy director of the NEA’s new energy and renewable energy department, also said at a conference that the agency expects the wind sector to wean itself off government subsidies by 2022.

Wind power is often wasted as there is not enough transmission capacity to handle all the electricity generated, resulting in curtailments. But in the first three quarters of this year, curtailment dropped 7 percentage points, he said.

Getting stranded power in the west to urban users in the world’s top energy consumer has been a major headache for the government as Beijing seeks to boost the use of more renewable energy and cut dependence on coal, the nation’s favourite fuel. The world’s second-largest economy is one of the world’s top producers of renewable energy.

Liang also said the government should encourage more small-scale wind projects to be built closer to users, so it’s easier to connect power to the grid.

To reduce dependency on subsidies, more technology innovation and an improvement in government policy are required, Liang said. He did not give details.

Last week, state planner the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it would issue subsidies to energy storage companies to spur the construction of new power-saving facilities that would preserve renewable power.

(Reporting by Muyu Xu and Josephine Mason; Editing by Sonali Paul and Tom Hogue)