Nils: Hello Jan, you were in China recently. What exactly did you do there?
Jan: Together with DENA, I was at a conference of the CNREC (China National Renewable Energy Centre) in China. The topic of my presentation was how flexible power consumers can be integrated into a Virtual Power Plant.
Nils: In the past months, we have read more and more that China is strongly committed to renewables. Can you say something about the Chinese electricity landscape?
Jan: The expansion of renewables is indeed playing a major role in China at the moment. Not only as a manufacturer of PV modules, most of which come from China, but also in the expansion of power generation, which relies heavily on photovoltaics. In 2018 more than 43 GW of PV were newly installed, in 2017 even more than 50 GW. In the meantime, the total of installed PV capacity in China amounts to more than 170 GW. Given the size of the country and the electricity demand, however, this is only a fraction of the total generation capacity of more than 1700 GW. Wind is about five percent of the total capacity, while hydropower accounts for about ten to fifteen percent. The rest is generated from conventional energy sources, especially hard coal.
The change is urgently needed, because since 2000 China has been responsible for more than 50 percent of the increase in global electricity consumption and 80 percent of coal consumption.