Last week’s clean energy market was interesting–to put it mildly, with a mixture of good and bad news–and no shortage of shocking news.
Several events, in our opinion, suggest significant changes ahead in China’s clean energy market.
- WIND: three cooperation contracts underline some key “breakthroughs” that could have long-term impacts–Siemens Energy has made its debut into one of China’s emerging wind, and green hydrogen market is especially noteworthy.
- SOLAR: JA Solar chairman being investigated and detained–the solar billionaire’s fate may reflect changes in China’s business landscape.
- HYDROGEN: Guangdong puts floating wind and green hydrogen on its agenda; while some 15 city alliances have applied for China’s fuel cell demonstration scheme.
- BATTERY: TOTAL enters into China’s battery energy scene, amid Beijing’s raising support on the sector
Contact Energy Iceberg to get to know our research services and information product launch for offshore wind, energy storage, and hydrogen:
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China’s southeast Guangdong province last week unveiled a three-year plan for new infrastructure construction.
According to the plan, the province aims to promote various “new infrastructure” projects during 2020-2022. Projects in the clean energy sector include:
- Offshore wind floating turbine foundation platform
- VSC-HVDC transmission
- Offshore wind power-to-gas
- Megawatt wave energy demo project
Siemens Energy last week concluded a landmark deal with Guangxi government and China Huaneng to invest & develop the first offshore wind manufacturing hub in the province–Beibu Bay (Gulf of Tonkin) Offshore Wind Equipment Manufacturing Base project.
In its press release, Guangxi government said the base–with a target to produce 1GW turbine annually–aims to serve the ASEAN market.
Energy Iceberg: please note that Siemens Energy–instead of its majority-owned subsidiary SGRE–signed the contract. By the deal, Siemens Energy shows a stronger interest in the region’s green hydrogen & natural gas scene.
China Energy Engineering Corp’s key subsidiary, Gezhouba International Corp, and Vietnam Construction and Trading Corporation last week signed an EPC contract to develop 350MW offshore wind power project in Ca Mau, Vietnam.
Vietnam’s Ca Mau 1 wind power project is located in the tidal area of Sanjiang Dongshe, Ca Mau Province. The total installed capacity of the project is 350MW, divided into four stages. The scope of the project EPC contract mainly includes the design, equipment supply, civil construction, installation and commissioning of projects such as intertidal wind farms, collection submarine cables, control centres, substations, transmission lines, as well as the owner’s office building and operation and maintenance docks.
Energy Iceberg: Chinese companies have speeded up its moves in Vietnam’s wind market, with several milestone deals achieved in the past months. One of these deals includes Goldwind supplying 47 and 10 units of its 3.3MW turbine to offshore wind projects Bạc Liêu III and Sóc Trăng I.
Harbin Electric Group (Harbin Electric) and the Hunan provincial government last week signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan. According to the agreement, the two parties will carry out a series of cooperation–including the equity restructuring of XEMC Wind Energy and wind energy resources development.
Energy Iceberg Comment: this cooperation means Harbin Electric is one-step away from acquiring XEMC Wind.
To recap: XEMC previously announced to seek buyers for its turbine making unit, XEMC wind, on April. (https://energyiceberg.com/china-clean-energy-syndicate-2020-apr-27/) Then, as a temporary measure, the wind unit was first sold to the Hunan government in Jul. when the market is still expecting Harbin Electric to take over its wind turbine business. (https://energyiceberg.com/china-clean-energy-syndicate-2020-july-06/)
Notably, XEMC Wind also owns Dutch company Darwind, by which XEMC has developed its own offshore wind turbine R&D capability. A 7-10MW prototype is under development. But its financial position limits its success so far.
Harbin Electric is one of China’s three major electronic manufacturing producer (Dongfang Electric and Shanghai Electric are the other two). The equipment powerhouse previously focused on nuclear.
Jin Baofang, the chairman of China’s major solar panel producer JA Solar—was detained last week by the authorities in Shandong Province, in relation to a criminal investigation. JA Solar’s shares took a hit on the news, dropping the daily exchange-limited 10%.
In its statement to shareholders, JA Solar said the Pingdu Supervisory Committee had detained its chairman, and the case was under investigation. The company stressed that “(This) would not have a significant impact on the company’s daily production and operations, which are ensured by its perfect governance structure and internal control mechanism”.It also said that its international market and orders would not embrace impacts from the case.
According to the company, its Q4 and 2021Q1 orders have exceeded its production capacity. The firm is on track to ramp up production. JA Solar is also investing in HJT heterojunction R&D, the first pilot line of which is expected to come online by 2021Q2. JA Solar’s sales target this year is 15 GW, which accounts for 12-13% market share.
Hydrogen Storage & Fuel Cells
As application deadline for China’s national fuel cell demonstration scheme arrived, a total of 15 city alliances, involving more than 50 cities, have applied for being enlisted in the first batch of demonstration regions–and thus for the national subsidy. Only nine provinces did not participate in the application.
However, to succeed, many face the bottleneck of a limited amount of FCVs (in operation. Several key provinces declared only 2500 vehicles.
Fuel cell companies are expected to benefit significantly from the subsidy scheme, many of which are invited to join multiple regional demonstrations.
Energy Iceberg summarized the following five key aways from the plan:
- Gas Source: The province prioritizes PDH hydrogen production (propane dehydrogenation to propylene) as a key gas source; it plans to deploy ethane cracking to gas (ethane dehydrogenation to ethylene) in the near-term as well. It, thus, supports PSA technology development.
- Alternative Gas Source: however, the province did propose to utilize the off-peak electricity and waste heat for hydrogen products. It also looks to set up the first offshore wind-to-gas demonstration.
- Infrastructure: The province will provide subsidies to hydrogen refuelling stations that are built and put into use before 2022 and have a daily hydrogen refuelling capacity of 500 kg or more. Dependent on the type of the stations, subsidy amount range from ¥1.5-¥2.5m.
- FCVs: The province promotes FCVs as heavy-duty trucks, medium and long-range logistics vehicles, engineering vehicles and port operation vehicles. It plans to quickly kick off construction of three H2 transportation corridors, which are Guangzhou-Shenzhen, Guangzhou-Zhuhai and Shenzhen-Shenshan Special Cooperation Zone.
- Other Fuel Cell Applications: The province aims to have the first hydrogen fuel cell ship and the first set of fuel cell household heat and power demo set up in 2022.
China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) announced that Tongji University, with a quote of ¥1.26 mn, won the R&D contract of CNOOC’s project about offshore electrolysis, and the storage and transport of hydrogen at sea.
The project aims to study, design and optimize the process of offshore wind-to-gas and propose boundary conditions for technical and economic feasibility. The construction period is from Sep. 2020 to Jun. 2021.
Hohhot City of Inner Mongolia issued a hydrogen energy industry policy (feedback-invitation version).
The city envisions that:
- Industry: By 2023, the liquid hydrogen production capacity would reach 30 t/d, and more than 5 hydrogen refuelling stations would be built, with the hydrogen refuelling capacity exceeding 30 t/d. By 2025, the liquid hydrogen production capacity would reach 60 t/d, and more than 10 hydrogen refuelling stations would be built, with the hydrogen refueling capacity exceeding 60 t/d.
- FCV application: By 2023, the number of fuel cell buses, logistics vehicles, and heavy trucks in operation would reach more than 150. By 2025, there would be more than 500 vehicles in operation in the city.
EV & Battery
National Energy Administration last week announced the first batch of technological innovation pilot demo projects. Eight energy storage projects were enlisted, including two renewable generation side, two user side, two power grid side, and two coal-fired power side projects.
The purpose of these pilots is to analyze and summarize the successful experience and existing problems of demo projects, establish relevant technical standards, and, therefore, promote the introduction of relevant policies and regulations to support the development of energy storage.
The cumulative installed capacity of China’s operational energy storage projects reached 32.7GW by the end of 2020H1, accounting for 17.6% of the world’s total. Battery energy storage applications have reached 1831MW.
Saft has opened a new manufacturing hub for energy storage solutions (ESS) in Zhuhai, China. The investment reinforces Saft’s existing footprint in Zhuhai as one of three strategic manufacturing hubs – the other two being in Bordeaux, France and Jacksonville, US.
The manufacturing capacity of the new 6,600m2 plant will be around 200 containers per year, which is equivalent to 480 MWh.
The Zhuhai plant is already producing Intensium Max 20 High Energy containers. These were launched in 2019 to offer a ‘best in class’ solution for energy density, energy efficiency, lifetime and performance with 1.2 MW of power and 2.5 MWh of energy storage.