China plans energy-sector innovation capability boost over next years

© Reuters. Birds fly past the chimney of a thermal power plant as China’s nationwide flag flutters in an area in Shanghai

By Kathy Chen BEIJING (Reuters) – China wishes to increase its domestic capability to produce cutting-edge energy technologies in the next years to challenge international energy majors in areas like offshore oil and gas expedition and building state-of-the-art thermal power plants. China drags competitors like Anglo-American oil majors or Japanese and German power turbine makers in the most sophisticated technologies for deepwater oil and gas production and the most effective electrical generation. But, as the world’s greatest energy customer, the country yearns to be at the leading edge of these technologies to meet internal energy needs and to shift its export economy from less high-tech markets. A new brochure, released this week by 3 ministries consisting of the National Advancement and Reform Commission (NDRC), proposes increasing China’s energy self-reliance by 2025. The report likewise looks for export opportunities in technical areas such as deepwater drilling for oil and, extremely efficient so-called ultra-super-critical thermal power plants, as well as sustainable electrical generation and storage technology. “Our self-designed capability is comparably weak, and the core technologies are not in our hands,” said the strategy. The report, led by the National Energy Administration, did not specify which business would lead this advancement. But, in the oil and gas sector, China’s state-owned business consisting of China National Petroleum Corp and its noted subsidiary PetroChina, Sinopec Group, and China National Offshore Oil Corp will likely take leading functions. China Petroleum Technology and Development Corp, an equipment supplier connected to CNPC, currently has exports worth $3.7 billion annually. “In offshore oil drilling we ‘d prefer to cut the dependence on imports by enhancing the self-sufficiency,” said Yang Shuangquan, basic secretary of the China Petroleum and Petrochemical Equipment Industrial Association (CPEIA). “(The strategy) draws up … major advancement projects for the oil industries in making use of gas, shale gas and overseas oil. The latter two will stay as China’s strategic transfer to guarantee energy supply,” he included. In renewables, Goldwind is the leading Chinese wind turbine maker and likely to contribute. The biggest investors in thermal and gas power generation are the state-owned China Huaneng Group, China Datang Corporation, along with its listed eco-friendly subsidiary, China Guodian Corp, China Huadian Group Corp, and China Power Financial investment Corp. Yang stated that no specified investment figures had yet been published, however that the ministry of finance would develop follow-up strategies for application quickly, without mentioning a particular time-frame. To make developments in these essential innovations, the government wishes to showcase live tasks by 2020, leading to the formation of brand-new, worldwide competitive production chains by 2025. The strategy likewise bolsters federal government efforts to move far from less technologically advanced markets such as coal and steel and into more complex sectors. This consists of increasing sustainable technology use, however also utilizing ultra-super-critical coal power generators, modern-day gas turbines, and big nuclear reactor. For renewables, China wants to develop overseas wind turbines that can produce 10 megawatts (MW) of electricity, beyond the existing innovation at 7 MW, and contemporary solar cells.

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