Manufacturing News

China upgrades green power industry to boost high-quality development

China's green power industry, the global leader, is becoming a new driving force for China's high-quality development through technological upgrades.

Green power

China has the world's largest renewable power generation system, with the installed capacity of hydropower, wind power, solar power and biomass power generation ranking first in the world. This cheap and eco-friendly energy has become a key for high-quality development.

According to the latest data from the National Energy Administration (NEA), as of the end of June 2023, the installed capacity of renewable energy in China had exceeded 1.3 billion kilowatts, surpassing the installed capacity of coal power for the first time in China's history.

A closer look at the installed capacity of renewable energy in China reveals that wind power is at 389 million kilowatts, ranking first in the world for 13 consecutive years, while the installed capacity of photovoltaic power is 470 million kilowatts, ranking first in the world for eight consecutive years.

According to Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu, the technological progress and large-scale application of renewable energy in China has greatly reduced the cost of renewable energy.

For example, China supplies 50 percent of the wind power equipment and 80 percent of the photovoltaic module equipment in the world. In 2021, the installation cost of global photovoltaic equipment had decreased by about 82 percent compared with the cost in 2010, while the installation cost of wind power equipment had decreased by at least 35 percent.

"It has not only contributed to China's green and low-carbon development, but also contributed greatly to global emissions reduction," said Huang.

Tech upgrades

China's green energy industry has been developed through continuous technology upgrades.

According to Li Chuangjun, director of the new energy and renewable energy department of the NEA, China's new energy innovation has gone through technology introduction, digestion and absorption, and re-innovation.

For example, the latest China-developed wind turbine can generate 66 million kWh per year, equivalent to the electricity consumption of 36,000 families for one year.

This wind turbine is also the world's first 16-MW ultra-large offshore wind turbine. Hundreds of sensors and laser radars scattered over the whole machine can sense temperature, humidity, wind speed and other information to track the running state of the turbine, and adjust the angle and generation power automatically.

Li said China's wind power sector has surpassed international levels in terms of technology of large-scale units and floating units, with breakthroughs made in key components such as spindle bearings of high-power units and ultra-long blades.

He also mentioned that crystalline silicon photovoltaic technology in China has continued to develop. The efficiency of domestically-developed perovskite cells, a next-generation photovoltaic battery, has reached 26.1 percent, which is a new world record.

Japan-based data provider Fronteo revealed that China has delivered some 5,500 research papers on perovskite solar cells since 2019, outperforming the United States (3,400 papers) and South Korea (1,460 papers). Japan delivered about 820 papers.

According to Li Zhenguo, president of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd., a leading photovoltaic module supplier, technological innovation is the core driving force for progress in the photovoltaic industry. The improvement of battery conversion efficiency has played a key role in this regard.

Boost for economy

Chinese customs data showed the total export value of China's three major tech-intensive green products, or the "new three" -- photovoltaic batteries, lithium-ion batteries and new energy vehicles (NEVs) -- soared 61.6 percent year-on-year in first half of 2023, boosting China's export growth by 1.8 percent points.

From clothing, household appliances and furniture to the "new three," China's foreign trade structure has been continuously optimized and upgraded, reflecting the new trend of high-quality development.

Regions such as Shanghai, Jiangsu and Guangdong, all registered robust export growth in terms of the "new three." The value of these products exported from Shanghai reached 247.8 billion yuan ($33.99 billion) in H1, a year-on-year increase of 74.7 percent.

Jiangsu's export value of photovoltaic batteries, lithium-ion batteries and NEVs in H1 grew 4.8 percent, 60.9 percent and 481 percent, respectively. Guangdong's figures in the first seven months of 2023 were 44 percent, 23.9 percent and 570.8 percent, respectively.

"The 'new three' reflect the effective improvement of the quality and reasonable growth of China's exports, and also make contributions to the world's green and low-carbon transformation," said Lyu Daliang, spokesperson of China's General Administration of Customs.

The contribution of the "new three" is also prominent in the domestic market. For instance, China's NEV sector has experienced rapid development in recent years. The output and sales of NEVs rose to 3.79 million and 3.75 million units, respectively, in H1 this year.

To narrow the rural-urban divide, China has intensified efforts to make cars -- particularly NEVs -- more affordable in smaller cities and the countryside. Over the past three years, more than 4.1 million units have been sold in the rural market.

The National Development and Reform Commission released measures in July to stabilize and expand the country's auto consumption, further promote the development of the NEV industry, and build more charging facilities in small cities, townships and villages.

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