Nuclear power plant operator sanguine on renewable energy

2024-03-22 09:34:08China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China General Nuclear Power Group, the country's largest nuclear power plant operator by installed capacity, has vowed to expand its footprint in the global renewable energy sector by forging partnerships with domestic companies.

The company signed contracts with China Energy Engineering Corp Ltd, known as Energy China, and Norinco International Cooperation Ltd, in Beijing on Wednesday, on overseas clean energy projects in South Africa, Laos and Bangladesh, with the total value of the contracts exceeding 6 billion yuan ($830 million).

The project construction will cumulatively drive 1.54 gigawatts of photovoltaic modules and wind turbine equipment capacity to go global, it said.

Collaboration with domestic partners will help accelerate its reach in international renewable energy markets, while serving the power development and industrial upgrade of the host country, driving the high-quality development of the new energy industry chain, it said.

Shi Weiqi, president of CGN Energy International Holdings Co Ltd, a subsidiary of CGN, said the company will focus on Latin America, Europe and Africa in wind projects in future, while actively developing solar projects in Southeast Asia.

The company will also further tap the solar market potential in Latin America, Central Asia and Africa, which receive abundant sunlight, he said.

"With global renewable power capacity expected to grow to 7.3 TW between 2023 and 2028 under existing policies and market conditions, according to forecasts by IEA, and solar PV and wind to account for 95 percent of the expansion, the market potential for renewable energy worldwide is massive," he said.

According to Shi, after decades of development, the company is currently operating 48 clean energy projects across 16 countries, including Malaysia, France, Brazil, South Korea, Laos and South Africa.

Installed capacity for the projects under operation and construction overseas has reached 13.63 million kilowatts, while total overseas assets have exceeded 80 billion yuan, he said.

According to CGN, the operation of the company's Tanque Novo wind power project (TN project) in Brazil, which is also the second greenfield project independently built by CGN in Brazil that was put into operation in May, has successfully introduced the Chinese wind turbine industrial chain into the Brazilian new energy market while supporting the export of products of 24 other Chinese enterprises along the industrial chain.

With a total installed capacity of 180 megawatts, the project is equipped with 40 China-developed wind turbines with the largest blades in South America.

A result of the innovative cooperation of China and Brazil in the field of energy, the TN project provides clean energy and contributes to employment in Brazil while upgrading the country's energy transformation and wind power industry, Shi said.

According to CGN, the project is expected to generate 720 million kilowatt-hours of power annually, available for 430,000 Brazilian households, a reduction of 650,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year and equivalent to the reforestation of 1,800 hectares of forest.

During construction of the project, more than 1,000 jobs were provided to local people, which contributed to the country's economic and social development, it said.

With more than 40 years of operational and construction experience in the domestic nuclear power and new energy fields, the company could bring these experiences overseas while making local improvements, said Shi.

By teaming up with established domestic entities, CGN can leverage their expertise, resources, and networks to navigate complex regulatory landscapes and access new markets more efficiently, said Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University.

CGN's move underscores China's broader push toward renewable energy development and its ambition to establish a stronger presence in the global clean energy sector. With renewable energy adoption gaining momentum worldwide, CGN's partnership-driven approach positions it well to capitalize on emerging opportunities and contribute to the global transition to sustainable energy, he said.

Yang Changli, chairman of CGN, said CGN will continue to seek new partnerships and collaborations to enhance its contribution to the advancement of clean energy worldwide.


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