Chinese companies' investment in new energy globally surges 55.6% in 2022
Chinese power companies are increasingly focusing on renewable energy projects such as solar and wind power globally, an industry report showed.
They have, in fact, expanded their involvement in green energy projects across the world in recent years, with the number of new energy projects invested by Chinese power companies last year rising 55.6 percent year-on-year, covering regions such as Southeast Asia, Europe, Oceania and Latin America, the China Electricity Council said in the report.
Chinese power companies have been actively engaging in cross-border transmission line interconnections and electricity trading with neighboring countries, including Russia, Mongolia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos. This has not only promoted the sharing and exchange of clean energy resources, but also supported the development and utilization of renewable energy on a regional scale, said Xu Guangbin, director of the international cooperation department of the council.
China, the global renewables leader in terms of solar capacity, completed a total of 9.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity exchange with neighboring countries in 2022, representing a 20.7 percent increase compared to the previous year. Among them, the purchased electricity amounted to 6.4 billion kWh, with an 18.5 percent year-on-year increase, while the exported electricity reached 2.7 billion kWh, a year-on-year growth of 26.1 percent, he said.
Xu made the remarks during a press conference in Beijing last week to announce the 24th Conference of the Electricity Power Supply Industry, which will take place in Xiamen, Fujian province, in October.
The conference is crucial for expanding the power industry's worldwide impact and carrying out the Belt and Road Initiative in light of the world's acceleration of decarbonization and the transition to green energy, he said.
An analyst said the BRI has been playing a significant role in driving the greening trend of Chinese power companies in the global market of late.
This trend reflects their commitment to sustainable energy practices, renewable resources, and environmentally conscious investments, said Luo Zuoxian, head of intelligence and research at the Sinopec Economics and Development Research Institute.
Chinese power companies, with comprehensive advantages in technology, capital, talent, management, and equipment, are believed to be playing a greater role in injecting strong momentum into local economic and social sustainable development, he said.
According to the council, major Chinese power companies invested in and constructed 16 power projects in markets participating in the BRI, accounting for 66.7 percent of their total foreign power investment projects.
Actual investment in the projects, which cover 10 countries and regions including Pakistan, Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, and Vietnam, reached about $1.95 billion, accounting for 57.7 percent of the total foreign investment by major Chinese power companies last year, it said.
Major Chinese power companies signed 102 new overseas engineering contracts in markets involved in the BRI, accounting for 53.1 percent of the total number of new power contract projects. The total contract value of the projects, which cover 23 countries and regions in Asia, Africa, and Europe, was around $22.09 billion, accounting for 67.4 percent of the total new overseas engineering contracts signed in 2022.
According to the council, ever since China ceased new overseas coal-fired power projects in 2021, the country's power industry made active adjustments, with major domestic power companies shifting their focus to green investments.
In 2022, renewable energy became the sector with the highest number of foreign investment projects, accounting for about 58 percent of the total. Among them, there were eight solar power projects, accounting for 33 percent of the total, with an investment amount of $1.33 billion, and six wind power projects, or 25 percent of the total, with an investment of $519 million.
In addition to solar and wind power, investment opportunities in energy storage, hydrogen energy, integrated energy, and complementary multiple energy sources have also significantly increased, according to the council.