China adds 10,000 MW of hydro, 2,300 MW of wind in 2006

China added about 10,000 MW of new hydroelectric generating capacity and built 2,300 MW of wind generation in 2006, the government reported.

Together they represent about 16 percent of the total installed capacity added last year of about 75,000 MW, as reported by industry experts. The majority of newly installed power generators are fired by coal.

In 2006 alone, Beijing approved 13 hydroelectric projects with total installed capacity of 19,500 MW, the National Development &Reform Commission, the country’s macroeconomic planner, said.

A total of 90,000 MW of hydropower projects is under construction, including the 12,600-MW Xiluodu and 6,000-MW Xiangjiaba dams, both along the Jinsha River in the southwest. (HNN 11/27/06)

China, a nascent player in wind power, built 80 wind farms last year with total installed capacity of 2,300 MW, an 80 percent increase over 2005. Beijing, fretting about growing reliance on imported oil, wants to boost the portion of its energy generated from renewables to 15 percent by 2020 from about 7 percent now.

Second UHV power line to deliver Yunnan hydropower

China Southern Power Grid Co. Ltd., one of two Chinese power transmission firms, has started building the world’s highest voltage direct-current power lines.

The 800-kilovolt lines will stretch 1,438 kilometers and transmit electricity from hydropower-rich Yunnan Province in the country’s landlocked southwest to power-hungry Guangdong Province, the company said. (HNN 10/30/06) (HNN 9/7/06)

The program is expected to cost 13.7 billion renminbi (US$1.75 billion) and be operational in the first half of 2009, Chinese media reported.

Ultra high voltage lines allow for heavy electricity flows with significantly lower loss in transmission, suitable for countries covering vast areas but with an uneven distribution of resources. The highest voltage in Chinese grids is currently 500 kV.

In August, the much-bigger State Grid Corp. started construction of China’s first experimental UHV electricity line, which will carry an alternating 1,000 kV and will run 650 kilometers from coal-mining Shanxi Province in northern China to central Henan and Hubei provinces.

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