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China to build smart grid system by 2020

06 July 2015

China plans to build a safe and environmentally friendly smart-grid system by 2020 to promote the spread of clean energy , according to a statement from the country’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The nation’s long-distance transmission and distribution networks will enable hydro, wind and solar power to vbe used more effectively, according to the NDRC. 

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Existing electricity grid constraints are already affecting renewable energy developments, with wind capacity regularly idled because of transmission and distribution issues.

The new network will involve the expansion of micro grids and the development of energy sources that do not need transmission lines, such as distributed solar projects and power from micro-gas generators, the NDRC said.

China’s clean energy planners and producers have campaigned for a smart grid system to enable China to meet its target of 20% of energy from renewables and nuclear by 2030, almost double the current share.

The nation plans to improve its “flexible” control capability over transmission and distribution networks to ensure stable power supply given the higher share of clean energy, according to the statement. The grid system will also meet demand created from broader use of electric vehicles and energy storage, the agency said.

China spent US $4.3 billion on smart grid investments in 2013 compared to $3.6 billion in the USA that year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

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