State Grid Corp of China has come up with plans for more pumped storage hydropower facilities, and is stepping up efforts to promote the development of power storage in the country to play a bigger role in the nation’s goals of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

State Grid ties hydropower to carbon goals

The State-owned enterprise started construction of the country’s first 10-megawatt pumped storage hydropower project in Northeast China’s Jilin province on Saturday, said its operator State Grid Corp of China. With a total investment of 6.97 billion yuan ($1.03 billion), the Jiaohe pumped storage power plant, the first of the province’s eight planned pumped storage plants during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, is expected to be put into operation in 2029. It has an installed capacity of 1.2 million kilowatts and consists of four 300,000-kW generating units, it said. The project will significantly lift the country’s power system regulation ability, State Grid Corp of China said.

Pumped storage hydropower is the most common type of energy storage in use today. It saves excess power by using it to pump water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir at night when electricity demand is low, and releases it to generate power during the day when demand is high. The government has been pushing forward the key technology development of energy storage and carbon capture, utilization and storage in recent years. According to an implementation plan for carbon peak in industrial fields released by the government on Monday, energy consumption per unit of industrial value added should drop 13.5 percent in 2025 compared with that in 2020, in addition to a drastic decline in carbon dioxide emissions per unit of industrial value added. An analyst said the layout of pumped storage power plants across the country will ensure steady power grid operation and the construction of a new national power system that will be dominated by renewable energy.

Wei Hanyang, a power market analyst at research firm BloombergNEF, said storage facilities are essential for promoting green energy transition with substantial potential, as the central government calls for a new energy-based power system. The government aims to reduce the cost of energy storage by 30 percent by 2025, which is expected to accelerate the industry pace, he said. Luo Zuoxian, head of intelligence and research at the Sinopec Economics and Development Research Institute, echoed this idea, saying that the shortcoming of a new power system lies in energy storage and improving the new energy storage capacity will further improve the country’s new power system. Xin Baoan, chairman of State Grid, said the company has been stepping up investment in the power grid network in recent years while continuously strengthening its resource allocation capacity to ensure more consumption of clean energy in the country.

State Grid said the eight pumped storage hydropower plants in Jilin province, with a total investment of around 70 billion yuan, will see a total installed capacity of 10.4 MW. It is expected that wind and solar installed power capacity will reach 30 million kW by 2025 while the pumped storage hydropower project will be generating more than 22 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually by then, it said. The Jiaohe pumped storage power plant is only part of the company’s plan of laying out pumped-storage hydropower stations in the country. The company, the largest power provider in the country, said it has begun constructing four pumped storage hydropower stations with a total investment of 38.2 billion yuan so far this year.

State Grid said it is currently constructing 38 pumped storage hydropower stations with a total installed capacity of 53.23 million kW, and both its installed capacity of that under operation and under construction rank the top in the world. As the country vows to further implement a green transition, the country’s total pumped storage project under operation will see a scale of more than 62 million kW by 2025 and the figure is expected to further rise to around 120 million kW by 2030, it said. The company will continuously push forward the construction of pumped-storage hydropower stations during the 14th Five-Year Plan period and will see its total scale of pumped storage hydropower stations reaching 50 million kW by 2025. The installed capacity for pumped-storage hydropower stations newly put into operation is expected to exceed 27 million kW,

Source: This news is originally published by chinadaily

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