China announces new policy to encourage hydroelectric power development

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China’s National Development and Reform Commission has announced a reform that will increase the price grid operators pay to hydroelectric power plants in an effort to spur industry investments.

Previously, NDRC said, hydropower costs were controlled by local governments at prices generally lower than the wholesale price of other forms of generation.

Now, NDRC — China’s federal economic and social planning authority — will dictate prices of hydroelectric power based on the average wholesale price grid operators pay for other forms of power.

The commission said the policy change is due in large part to the country’s effort to meet its national renewable portfolio standard, which says non-fossil energy should make up 11.4% of China’s overall mix by 2015.

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