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China opens up grid to kick-start distributed clean energy generation

28 February 2013
China opens up grid to kick-start distributed clean energy generation

BEIJING: China’s biggest grid operator today announced that it will grant easier access to the transmission grid for distributed energy fuelled by renewables.

The State Grid Corporation of China (SCGG) will introduce measures to help increase distributed generation fueled by clean energy -- such as solar, wind and geothermal power -- into its network.

Distribution generation, also known as on-site generation, is a means of producing electricity from lots of smaller energy sources, primarily from renewables.

To open up grid access, SCGG will:

  • improve its grid infrastructure
  • update and improve services
  • streamline grid connection processes.

The easier access means that households and companies can use small power stations to generate up to 6 megagwatts of their own energy, as well as sell any excess power back to the State Grid.

In 2012, the State Grid connected almost 16,000 distributed power generation stations across China which generated a total installed capacity of over 34 million kilowatts, largely dominated by hydro power.

Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group said: “I am pleased to see the national grid open up distributed power. It is a positive gesture towards a more diverse energy mix for China’s future. The fact individual units can not only distribute their own power but sell excess power back to the grid is an important contribution to China's 'third Industrial Revolution'."

She added: “The consumer incentives will create a more favorable market environment for the continued healthy development of renewable energy outside the domestic market too. The initiative could provide models for renewable energy generation processes to be adopted by large-scale applications, as well as stimulate positive, effective discussion and exploration in areas such as policy incentives, demonstration projects, innovation and financing.”

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By Clare Saxon