Normal hydropower capacity would grow to 284 gigawatts (GW) and pumped storage hydropower capacity to 41 GW by 2015, and to 330 GW and 60 GW, respectively, by 2020, Ouyang was quoted as saying by the 21th Century Business Herald.
China’s wind and solar power sectors could see their expansion moderating in the coming five years as the government focuses on cheaper hydropower, Ouyang Changyu, deputy general secretary of the China Electricity Council was quoted as saying by local media.
Because of wind and solar power’s high generating costs and weak competitiveness, their development would be curtailed, Ouyang was quoted as saying by Caixin Media at an event on Tuesday organised by the influential industry association.
Coal-fired power capacity will reach 933 GW by 2015 and nuclear power is set to rise to 42.94 GW by 2015 and 90 GW by 2020, the newspaper reported, citing Ouyang.
Ouyang headed a research project on the next five-year power industry plan that was expected to be published in the second half of this month after government approvals, the newspaper said.
Development of clean energy including wind and solar power would leap forward after 2020
China’s total hydropower capacity reached 200 GW in August and top energy official Zhang Guobao said capacity had to reach 380 GW by 2020 if the country was to meet its clean energy and emissions targets.
He said China needed to start building 120 GW of hydropower projects in the six years through 2015 given the longer construction time needed compared with coal-fired plants.
China has a goal to generate at least 15 percent of total energy output by 2020 using renewable energy sources as the government aims to shift to a less-resource intense economy. According to the consultancy EC Harris, in 2010, China is the world’s top investor in renewable energy projects, having invested around $120 billion to $160 billion between 2007 and 2010.
In 2009, China was the world’s largest producer of hydroelectric power. In the same year, China generated 549 Bkwh of electricity from hydroelectric sources, representing 16 percent of its total generation. Also, according to FACTS Global Energy, installed generating capacity was around 197 GW in 2009, accounting for over a fifth of total installed capacity. These figures are likely to increase given the number of large-scale hydroelectric projects planned or under construction in China, and the government’s State Energy Bureau announced plans to increase hydro capacity to 380 GW by 2020. The largest power project under construction is the Three Gorges Dam along the Yangtze River, which will include 32 separate 700-MW generators, for a total of 22.5 GW. When fully completed, it will be the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. The Three Gorges project already has several units in operation as of 2009, but the project is not expected to be fully completed until 2011.