Successes and shortcomings of solar energy in China

We all know that China has a leading role in the development of solar energy. In this good article you'll find how the Chinese government has managed the growth of the solar industry using subsidies and incentives with some errors committed along the way leading to an overcapacity in the western less populated provinces.

Now the challenge is to improve the grid to allow a better use of the installed capacity rather than adding more curtailed capacity./Once you have that in mind it's easier to understand the recent decision to slash the subsidies to solar projects. The current priority is on ultra-high voltage (UHV) transmission lines to better dispatch the existing production and reduce curtailment issues.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/06/how-china-can-make-the-most-of-its-solar-energy-boom/

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I think the main problem is making people accept that Solar and Wind are not base-load power sources, but instead they are peak-demand supplements, China solar power generated in 2017 118,200 GWh which is the equivalent to 13.4GW/a ,and taking in mind the capacity installed of 130250GW gives you a capacity factor of 10.28%, and thats the electricity generated, not the electricity consumed, becasue sometimes electricity is produced when it's not needed. And sometimes electricity is needed when it's not produced.

The real clean energy revolution on China is on the nuclear side and hydropower side, in the case of nuclear it generated in 2017 256,000 GWh giving a capacity factor of 84%, while Hydropower generated 1,103,325 GWh with an average output of 125GW and a capacity factor of 38%

Wind is nice but it needs pumped storage to smoothing the power delivery and storage energy, batteries are a no-go option, and the harder you try to get more wind and solar it more difficult and expensive it gets because of the intermittent delivery and the capacity factors

Supposing china by 2030 consumes 3000W per capita in average if that came entirely from solar that would need 138 billion solar panels, cost 57 trillion us dollars, and they would have to change at least 13 million solar panels every day, for ever until civilization cease existing.

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On 6/30/2018 at 1:27 AM, Guillaume Albasini said:

We all know that China has a leading role in the development of solar energy. In this good article you'll find how the Chinese government has managed the growth of the solar industry using subsidies and incentives with some errors committed along the way leading to an overcapacity in the western less populated provinces.

Now the challenge is to improve the grid to allow a better use of the installed capacity rather than adding more curtailed capacity./Once you have that in mind it's easier to understand the recent decision to slash the subsidies to solar projects. The current priority is on ultra-high voltage (UHV) transmission lines to better dispatch the existing production and reduce curtailment issues.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/06/how-china-can-make-the-most-of-its-solar-energy-boom/

Its ironic that one of the best locations for Solar is Tibet with an annual yield of about 2200 kwh / KW of capacity. Thats better than KSA. Problem is distance - unless markets in Northern India are targeted. Interesting one for regional politics. 

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On 6/30/2018 at 9:26 AM, Sebastian Meana said:

I think the main problem is making people accept that Solar and Wind are not base-load power sources, but instead they are peak-demand supplements, China solar power generated in 2017 118,200 GWh which is the equivalent to 13.4GW/a ,and taking in mind the capacity installed of 130250GW gives you a capacity factor of 10.28%, and thats the electricity generated, not the electricity consumed, becasue sometimes electricity is produced when it's not needed. And sometimes electricity is needed when it's not produced.

The real clean energy revolution on China is on the nuclear side and hydropower side, in the case of nuclear it generated in 2017 256,000 GWh giving a capacity factor of 84%, while Hydropower generated 1,103,325 GWh with an average output of 125GW and a capacity factor of 38%

Wind is nice but it needs pumped storage to smoothing the power delivery and storage energy, batteries are a no-go option, and the harder you try to get more wind and solar it more difficult and expensive it gets because of the intermittent delivery and the capacity factors

Supposing china by 2030 consumes 3000W per capita in average if that came entirely from solar that would need 138 billion solar panels, cost 57 trillion us dollars, and they would have to change at least 13 million solar panels every day, for ever until civilization cease existing.

Perhaps returning to reality and posing a question along the lines of - China attempts to produce 20% of its electricity supply from Solar....

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The article linked in the lead post is a compilation of all the troubles that bedevil solar energy, with the added complication of the Chinese political system - party officials in each province having their own kingdom and unwilling to accept the output of other kingdoms. There is also the problem, mentioned indirectly in the article, in that  power utilities are told how much to produce and at what price. Market forces don't come into it. The article complains at one point (couldn't cut and paste) that grids would only pay the set price for power. What I think it means is that there is no spot market, in which renewable generators have a clear advantage. In the West grids sign purchasing agreements which set a certain amount of power they will take and the price. But they will also resort to the spot price day to day in which generators can offer their output at any price. Wind generators typically have no fuel costs and so can cut their prices to near zero on the spot market. Conventional generators can't. The Chinese market it seems has a long way to go. 

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