China says no to wind and solar tech unless it can compete with coal on price

China has said it will not approve wind and solar power projects unless they can compete with coal power prices.

Beijing pulled the plug on support for large solar projects, which had been receiving a per kWh payment, in late May. That news came immediately after the country’s largest solar industry event and caught everyone by surprise.

Officials are understood to have been frustrated at seeing Chinese suppliers and engineering firms building solar projects overseas that delivered electricity at prices far below what was available back home.

The country also has its own issues with grid logjams. These have caused power from wind and solar projects to be wasted due to a lack of capacity on the network to transmit and distribute it. In 2017 12% of wind generation and 6% of solar was curtailed.

In the plans announced on Thursday, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the top strategic planning authority, and the National Energy Administration (NEA) set out a series of conditions under which new solar and wind projects would be approved from now till the end of 2020.

Chief among these is that the price matches or undercuts the national coal benchmark, something that happened for the first time ever just last month.

Projects will also have to show that the grid can handle their output. Technical specifications will ensure that the highest standards are met on that front.

Local governments have been told they are free to offer their own subsidies to projects if they wish.

In the past, provincial authorities have spent heavily to bankroll uncompetitive solar manufacturers.

Thursday’s announcement warned that any attempt to use project subsidies to invest in “local factories” or to make the use of locally made components a condition of the subsidy.

Full story here

h/t to The GWPF

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68 thoughts on “China says no to wind and solar tech unless it can compete with coal on price

  1. “China says no to wind and solar tech unless it can compete with coal on price”

    Thank god there are still rational humans left on this planet.

    • Well, rational when it comes to sound economic sense IF you want to continue, protect and grow your society. Mas as fish in everything else.

    • China is also not wasting money changing their electrical grids to allow massive amounts of power to be moved from region to region to enable intermittent sun and wind gathering energy to be connected.

      The largest increase in CO2 emissions is air travel, China. As the 1.2 billion Chinese get richer which is their governments’ goal, they are travelling to Asia and abroad.

      China is go-go. They are winning.

      We are lost.

  2. Strange, Very Strange. Why are the people pushing Renewables in the USA and EU claiming Wind/Solar is cheaper than Gas/Coal/Nuclear, yet China claims it is not profitable?

  3. So Trump said it’s a Chinese hoax, and surprise, China proves it right. Each year China grows emissions much more than whole Europe decreases (which is not much).

    Already now Chinese emissions are larger than EUropean/capita. They have no intention to do the mistake EUrope did.

    • China used the “hoax” to its advantage.
      China did not create this. Likely German Greens, Al Gore, John Kerry, and Maurice Strong were the creators.
      Remember, do not take Trump’s words literally. Do take him seriously. Salena Zito

  4. Confucius say: Chinese not considered “paleface”, so their actions always ennobled by Western social-justice elites.

    • Someone did the engineering and realized as wind and solar capacity grows how increasingly difficult it is to maintain grid stability over thousands of miles of transmission lines with rapidly fluctuating inputs from wind and solar And by increasingly difficult, that translates to more safety devices, frequency control devices, switches, and breakers have to be installed, all of which adds complexity and more failure points.And at the end of the analysis, you’re left with the realization that wind and solar have not replaced even one KWH of fossil fuel-nuclear-hydro power in order to meet grid demand under regularly occurring conditions of no wind and solar output.

      And then the realization comes that in the totality of end-to-end life cycle of materials mining, fabrication, delivery, assembly-installation, maintenance, and eventual tear-down of a wind turbine farm or solar farm, not one kilogram of CO2 to the atmosphere has been spared.

      Climate Change is nothing but a scam on our gullible population being fed climate propaganda.

  5. China banned wind turbines several years ago. The recent report which demonstrated the false
    promises made by wind projects will invalidate their false claims over the years with respect to the costs of wind, which they have repeatedly claimed was cheaper than some fossil fuels, while at the same time illogically arguing for continued govt subsidies – I believe the figure was that $14 billion in the U.S. had been collected by wind promoters. Personally, I think that solar in deserts is the better technology but still vastly inferior to molten salt nuclear power. Wind power is so primitive in so many ways, disrupting the grid to boot, it should bebanned in this country

    • After you factor in the fleet of fossil fuel powered vehicles and workers, and gallons of cleaning “solutions,” needed to go out into the “desert” regularly to clean the dust off the panels so they might actually work at something remotely close to their supposed level of performance, you’ll probably find you’ve used up more energy than they produce, and certainly the cost of that energy they produce will not be cheaper than a REAL power plant, which you’ll STILL have to have up and running to provide what the panels won’t as the sun goes down anyway.

      Intermittent power generation is worse than useless.

    • Personally, I think that solar in deserts is the better technology but still vastly inferior to molten salt nuclear power.

      And there you have it, for the folks at home playing the kent beuchert MSR drinking game, the obligatory posting about MSR from kent. doesn’t matter the topic at hand, MSR will get a shout out.

    • What do you have against deserts?
      Deserts are amazing places that deserve respect. Visit a few.

      Put a molten salt nuclear unit on top of city buildings. If skyscrapers can support trees and other vegetation, they can hold other things as well.
      Bosco Verticale

    • If the greens ever finally figure out that wind power is a joke it will only be a matter of time before they switch their focus to the dying birds and bats. And once that happens, not only will no new windmills be built, but the existing ones will be decommissioned under threat of green lawsuits, vandalism, and boycotts.

  6. Hint: Do the math BEFORE investing multi-$billions into an energy system, and that includes figuring out what it will do to the energy grid. I know math is hard, but SHEESH!

  7. “Thursday’s announcement warned that any attempt to use project subsidies to invest in “local factories” or to make the use of locally made components a condition of the subsidy.”

    Would do what?? The statement is incomplete.

    • There is no clarification at the “Full story here” link either. I’m going to guess that the intended construction was supposed to be “warned against any attempt”.

    • Thursday’s announcement warned that any attempt to use project subsidies to invest in “local factories” or to make the use of locally made components a condition of the subsidy would result in the death penalty.

      China doesn’t mess around with corruption. link

  8. Interesting. So a liberal government system exists that actually considers practical considerations rather than just optics and talking point adherence. Color me surprised.

    • It is said that the founding father of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, became the mentor of China’s leader, Deng Xiaoping. link

      I think it is fair to say that, whether or not it was copying Singapore, China has abandoned doctrinaire Marxism. Most Chinese I know acknowledge that Mao did make some mistakes.

      • “Mao did make some mistakes”.

        Understatement of the decade. Some 60 million dead Chinese people could attest to that.

          • Yes. The Chinese are afraid of letting the beast out. Tell Mao was a walking death and destroyer of worlds, would shatter the Chinese faith in the system. They are gradually revealing Mao was not a god, but a man with weaknesses. I guess they’re now telling he was fifty fifty, did lots of good but also big mistakes. Where as the current strong man is better than that, they are to say between the lines.

            Time shows when if ever the Chinese stop to worship their current dictator a semigod.

          • Hugs January 11, 2019 at 6:13 pm

            … Time shows when if ever the Chinese stop to worship their current dictator a semigod.

            It’s not worship per se. Confucian philosophy says that loyalty should be ingrained. Even if a leader is bad, the people should still be as good as possible in order that the nation can thrive as best as is possible under the circumstances.

      • They experimented with market economics in their agriculture sector, and output increased ten-fold. Marxism was dumped shortly thereafter. The current ideology is Nationalism.

  9. ALL mandates and subsidies regarding wind and solar power should be eliminated, NOW. A “ban” would then become magically unnecessary, because their entire existence is based on such mandates and subsidies.

    Without utilities being forced to accept solar and wind power, to prioritize its use over conventional power generation, and to pay anything for it when it COSTS more than conventional power generation due to intermittency and related grid stability issues, they would refuse it, and the people buying it would no longer have any reason to.

  10. The greens keep telling us we should emulate china, so I guess that means we too should say “no” to solar 😀

  11. They got rid of their idiotic intermittent energy scam and not a Yellow Vest in sight. This is one Asian flu I’d happily see spread to the West.

    • An interesting find Griff

      The new subsidy-free projects will generate renewable power for sale at the same prices as non-subsidised coal-fired power plants imagine an article that actually admits that Coal is not subsidized, and will not have to comply with capacity quota restrictions, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on Wednesday. It added that the projects would, however, receive support on land and financing. isn’t this though another form of subsidy

      “Some regions with good natural resources and firm demand have already achieved subsidy-free, or grid price parity, conditions,” said the NDRC, adding the pilot projects could help renewable energy to compete with coal-fired power.

      China has long aimed to bring renewable power costs down through economies of scale and technological advances. It promised last year to provide direct policy support to help developers achieve “grid price parity” with traditional electricity sources.

      Under the new policy, grid companies will be encouraged to guarantee electricity purchases from pilot projects, lower transmission fees and support cross-regional deliveries of subsidy-free power. Forced purchasing is still another type of Subsidy

      The NDRC said it would further boost the income of solar projects by cutting land costs subsidy and promoting new market mechanisms like green certificate trading.

      The government has already approved the construction of several subsidy-free wind farms, and solar generators have also achieved price parity in some regions.

      Some solar projects in northwestern China continue to struggle, though, due to long delays in subsidy payments, high transmission costs and insufficient purchases from grid companies. all about subsidies and forcing purchases from more costly sources

    • China launches subsidy-free solar

      really, cool. But wait….

      It added that the projects would, however, receive support on land and financing

      sounds like a subsidy.

      It promised last year to provide direct policy support

      Um, that sounds like a subsidy too.

      Under the new policy, grid companies will be encouraged to guarantee electricity purchases from pilot projects, lower transmission fees and support cross-regional deliveries of subsidy-free power.

      and how exactly will it “encourage” such? through subsidies? or by the figurative (and possibly even literal, this is China we are talking about) barrel of a gun? (Government force being used is just another type of subsidy)

      The NDRC said it would further boost the income of solar projects by cutting land costs

      and how will it do that? by subsidizing the cost of land perhaps?

      “There will still be subsidized wind and solar projects,

      so solar isn’t subsidy-free after all.

    • Take griff’s linked article and replace the word solar with coal and griff would most likely post it showing the subsidies that coal receives.

  12. The whole scam is collapsing on its’ own. As it should. Without the free handouts/subsidies from the West China realizes it will cost them instead of being a cash cow. Now they are worried about their economy that was built on the premise that industry would collapse in the West without fossil fuels and they would provide the industrial output to the world. Without Trump the US would have continued going down that rat hole and they may have succeeded. One by one countries are waking up to the true intent of “Global Warming” and not buying it. And the collapse has nothing to do with science because it was effectively muted. The UN and its supporting cabal didn’t take into account how much people are attracted to, and dependent on, the modern lifestyle enjoyed by Western industrialized countries that they tried to destroy.

    • markl: Amen, brother.

      Griff, whomever/however many you are, good to see you back on WUWT providing the counterpoints for reflection, however inane though they may be! Look! I think I can see your image(s) on one of the House of Renewable Energy Cards, as the entire edifice collapses…under the weight of energy generation and transmissional truths..

      Yours in WUWT,
      I remain,

      MCR

  13. This is a step, but the price is irrelevant if the output characteristic is unsuitable for powering the load.
    This fixation on price implies that solar is a valuable energy source. It is not. The market value is negative.
    Even if it is free, it is not worth connecting if it is intermittent and cannot do the job.
    Where I live, if I was paid to take solar panels, it would not be worth mounding them. They only provide power when it cannot be used.

    • You would need to include battery storage and a rebuild guarantee that/if/when said battery would not burn your house down.
      Use the energy from the battery at night and recharge it during the day.

      • Bryan A

        Use the energy from the battery at night and recharge it during the day.

        Oh good idea. How are you going to recharge the battery during the day?
        1. First, to recharge the battery during the day (to replace the energy lost during the discharge period, right?), you must have enough cells providing power during the day to – well, literally – “provide power during the day”. That is Cell Area 1 Day.
        2. Second, to provide power during the time no solar power is available, you need to know how manyhours per day solar power is not effective. Foolishly, many assume this only twelve hours per day. However, the sun is high enough in the sky year-round average in temperate climates to provide only 6 hours of solar PV power! NOT 12 hours. So you need 18 hours of battery power.

        Night-time electric use is slightly less than daytime use (most people do sleep after all), but electricity->DC->battery chemistry storage-storage->battery chemistry->DC->AC and DC uses requires lots of losses, so you really need 3 times the daily use area to get 18 hours of power the rest of each day.

        So you must buy 4x times the daily use area of PV cells. And that provides ZERO backup for dust storms, rain storms, clouds, and monsoons!
        And NO industrial use for large motors, kilns, and reliable manufacturing power. Slave labor? Yes.

        • You don’t necessarily need 18 hours of battery power as long as you are still connected to the grid. When the battery depletes, you are switched to grid powerful the solar panel system recharges your battery. Though if I were to ever have a system with a battery, it would need to be a battery that could run my house for several days rather than hours.

      • You are assuming that solar panels have output every day. Even California has low output in winter.

        In southern Canada solar is only partly reliable for 4 months of the year. There are lots of days without output in the summer. April and September have half output.
        The other six months have next to zero.
        I conclude that an 8 month battery reserve would be marginal at best.
        How big would that battery be?

    • it started with the economic reforms of the 1970s (After the death of Mao) which opened China up to foreign investment

      • And continued strongly when the 100 Year British Lease of Hong Kong was over and the Chinese finally discovered the power of Capitalism

  14. China says no to wind and solar tech unless it can compete with coal on price

    That’s a capitalist statement. Take note US and the west

    • National socialism with enough free enterprise to provide an incentive. Nazi? Toss in the dictatorial powers of the top guy and you can improve your manufacturing and get the trains to run on time. Capitalism, I don’t think.

  15. It’s funny how the only part of article that wasn’t included was the section about the creation of a new green certificate scheme with renewable targets for the utilities.

    Also included in the wide-ranging changes is the introduction of a green certificate scheme. A small trial of such a scheme was undertaken in 2017. It would work in a similar way to renewable energy certificates schemes in the U.S. and elsewhere. A certificate is created for each unit of electricity generated. These are then traded among utilities who may have targets to meet as determined by regulators or purchased by an end user to demonstrate their use of “clean” power. Details on the mechanics of the certificate scheme have not yet been released.

    .

  16. Windmills, solar, Energiewende, snow a thing of the past, anyone ? A new significant milestone was reached earlier this afternoon.

    En-route to Hamburg after sizeable delay deicing mayhem further north: -“Be advised of eventual disruptions due to unreliable power supply to ground facilities. Consider holding in excess of 25 minutes.”

    A cabin address that made my day ensued, however they managed to take us without issues.

  17. One day Forbes claim that new solar plant undercuts prices of coal energy, the next day this. China has to support solar energy to secure their export, but not to a cost that is too high.

  18. “The new subsidy-free projects will generate renewable power for sale at the same prices as non-subsidised coal-fired power plants.”(or they won’t be built).
    Everything that follows in the article is virtue signaling saying China supports renewables for energy and that China implementing a “certificate program”, just like the USA, proves we’re doing an equal share to save the planet. The catch is there won’t be a significant number of subsidy-free projects because they can’t compete with coal-fired power plants….except in a few isolated cases. That’s why the renewable stock prices fell. China reached the “tipping point” in wind installations a few years ago, and now has done the same in solar. Germany is way past their renewable tipping points but is politically unable to stop installing this worth-less-than-nothing junk. The world needs to scrap this renewable scam. The required $trillion grid expansion required to accommodate the already installed generating capacity would be “less than wise”.

    “Under the new policy, grid companies will be encouraged to guarantee electricity purchases from pilot projects,” (leaves the door open to “virtuously” subsidize promising new technologies but none other).

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