$68.7 Billion on grid for 2015
The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) said it plans to spend 420.2 billion renminbi ($68.7bn) on grid infrastructure this year, representing a year-on-year increase of 24%, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
The investment boost follows a 14.1% increase in spending in 2014, Xinhua said.
SGCC will start construction of 64,000 kilometres of alternating current (AC) power transmission lines and 13,000 km of direct current lines this year.
A total of 46,000 km of AC lines is expected to be put into operation this year, Xinhua said. SGCC also plans to build a number of ultra-high voltage (UHV) and ‘smart’ transmission lines.
This year will also see the launch of “pre-project work for four power links connecting China with Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia and Pakistan”, Xinhua said.
SGCC lists its “core businesses” as the construction and operation of a power network that covers 26 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) (37-page / 802 KB PDF), China is the world’s largest power generator, surpassing the US in 2011. Net power generation was an estimated 4,476 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2011, up 15% from 2010, the EIA said.
China’s current five-year plan seeks to tackle the “regional imbalance of coal supply and demand through investments in greater railway capacity and higher electricity transmission capacity to enable electricity generated from coal to travel long distances to demand centres”, the EIA said.
“About half of China’s coal is used for power generation… In 2012, China consumed an estimated 4 billion short tonnes of coal, representing close to half of the world total,” the EIA said. “Coal consumption in 2012 was more than two times higher than it was in 2000, reversing the relatively flat growth seen from 1996 to 2000.”