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ronwagn

China's Renewables Boom Hits the Wall

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10 hours ago, ronwagn said:

 

I would draw everyone's attention to this part of the linked story..

there is another reason: curtailment. China-based journalist Michael Standaert wrote in a recent story for Yale Environment 360 that China’s solar and wind farms continue to produce electricity that is wasted because there is not enough transmission capacity.

Renewable energy is a top priority for China as it fights one of the worst air pollution levels in the world while subject to an uncomfortably high degree of reliance on energy imports, namely oil and gas.

This lack of transmission capacity has been a problem for decades now that I can remember.. The Chinese system is set up to build renewables but not to link them to anything. The regional party bosses just have to point to wind and solar generating assets to show that they are meeting their targets. Just what those generators might be linked to, or not, is not relevant.

Also note that they are worried about urban pollution. It is known that much of that pollution is due to coal fires lit by poorer Chinese families who have flocked to the large cities and are trying to keep warm. Cutting the output of power plants, often well outside the cities even in China, won't do much, but switching the poor families over to gas will. There are indications that Chinese are trying to do that, but it is typical of the confusion in the area that renewables are cited as a solution to the wrong problem.

 

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21 hours ago, markslawson said:

 

I would draw everyone's attention to this part of the linked story..

there is another reason: curtailment. China-based journalist Michael Standaert wrote in a recent story for Yale Environment 360 that China’s solar and wind farms continue to produce electricity that is wasted because there is not enough transmission capacity.

Renewable energy is a top priority for China as it fights one of the worst air pollution levels in the world while subject to an uncomfortably high degree of reliance on energy imports, namely oil and gas.

This lack of transmission capacity has been a problem for decades now that I can remember.. The Chinese system is set up to build renewables but not to link them to anything. The regional party bosses just have to point to wind and solar generating assets to show that they are meeting their targets. Just what those generators might be linked to, or not, is not relevant.

Also note that they are worried about urban pollution. It is known that much of that pollution is due to coal fires lit by poorer Chinese families who have flocked to the large cities and are trying to keep warm. Cutting the output of power plants, often well outside the cities even in China, won't do much, but switching the poor families over to gas will. There are indications that Chinese are trying to do that, but it is typical of the confusion in the area that renewables are cited as a solution to the wrong problem.

 

I have fallen prey to the thinking that a top down government often works more efficiently, as in the trains run on time. That may be true but it depends on the overall culture, leadership at all levels, means etc. Actually a free economy is more effective unless it is mismanaged. That mismanagement is often caused by politicians who buy votes through overspending with funny money. That leads to economic collapse. 

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