Huaneng plans 10-fold growth in green power

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 May, 2007, 12:00am

China Huaneng Group, the nation's largest power producer, aims to raise its renewable energy capacity more than 10-fold by 2020 as the country seeks to cut reliance on polluting fossil fuels.

The parent of listed Huaneng Power International plans to have 4,500 megawatts of total installed capacity in renewable energy projects by 2020, up from the present 424 MW, Song Yuhong said at the sidelines of China Power & Alternative Energy Summit.

Of the 4,500 MW target, most would come from wind projects plus 200 MW from small hydro projects and 50 MW from biomass units, said Ms Song, the deputy project manager at Huaneng Renewable Energy (Holding), a unit set up in late 2002.

In the shorter term, the company aims to have 1,420 MW of wind capacity by 2010, or just 1.77 per cent of the group's 80,000 MW total generation capacity target that is dominated by coal-fired units.

The 1,420 MW goal would give the company 28 per cent of China's wind-power market, which is forecast by the National Development and Reform Commission to reach 5,000 MW in 2010.

So far the company has 100 MW of installed wind projects, with 350 MW more due for completion this year.

Ms Song said the average investment cost of wind farms amounts to about 9.5 million yuan per MW, implying the company and its partners may have to plough in 11.88 billion yuan to realise the 2010 target and a further 25.47 billion yuan to reach the 2020 goal.

It will focus on developing wind projects in Jiangsu, Guangdong, Jilin and Hebei provinces and in Inner Mongolia, she said.

China's wind-power capacity, which doubled last year to 2,598 MW from 1,266 MW a year earlier, is still only 0.41 per cent of the national generation capacity of 622,000 MW.

Ms Song said the rush by wind farm developers into the young sector had sent equipment costs up about 12 per cent from two years ago. Higher global steel prices were also partly to blame.

Costs may be cut as more equipment is made in the mainland, with turbine makers including Spain's Gamesa, Denmark's Vestas and India's Suzlon building wholly owned plants in Tianjin in the past year.

The mainland's wind power market is dominated by large state-owned power companies.

Industry executives said a lack of publicly available topographic information on the nation's wind resources and an immature tariff-setting mechanism also helped to drive up costs.