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News Article
Site: http://www.sej.org/headlines/list

"HONG KONG — Coal-fired power plants have propelled much of China’s economic rise for decades, helping make the nation the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. Even with economic growth slackening, and other energy sources taking hold, new coal plants have been added. Now Beijing is trying to slow things down. In guidelines released on Monday, China halted plans for new coal-fired power stations in many parts of the country, and construction of some approved plants will be postponed until at least 2018. The announcement, by the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration, means that about 200 planned coal-fired power generators — those seeking approval and those approved but not yet under construction — may not be completed, said Lauri Myllyvirta, who analyzes China’s energy production for Greenpeace." Michael Forsythe reports for the New York Times April 25, 2016.


News Article
Site: http://www.reuters.com

Tens of thousands of firms will have to participate in the nationwide emissions trading scheme (ETS) from next year, and third-party agents need to verify their carbon emission levels as well as the offsets allowed on carbon mitigation projects. China is the world's biggest emitter of climate-warming greenhouse gases and it has vowed to make use of market mechanisms to bring carbon dioxide levels to a peak by around 2030, but the accuracy of its data has been questioned. Amid concerns about the independence of verification firms, China's top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said it would ban them from trading and from managing the carbon portfolios of market participants. China has already accredited nine organizations to verify emissions reports for projects capable of generating offset credits tradable on the seven pilot regional carbon markets. But provincial governments have also allowed hundreds of local agents to assist in carbon auditing, many involved in trading. "Such agents have breached the independence of data reporting," said a carbon project developer who did not want to be named. To improve the credibility of the verifiers, the NDRC also said they should not hire staff who have worked in companies being audited at any time during the previous five years. It has not been decided how many agents will be approved. China has set a capital threshold of 5 million yuan ($760,098) for private firms, who must also have at least 10 staff members with experience in carbon-related projects. Companies consuming more than 10,000 tonnes of standard coal in any year between 2013-2015 have been obliged to submit emissions data, and the biggest emitters will join the national trading scheme in 2017. China's carbon market is likely to be the world's biggest ETS once it is launched. Officials are sticking to the 2017 launch date, though Reuters Point Carbon expects China may need another two years to develop a national market, citing legislative bottlenecks and the difficulties in integrating the existing pilot markets. Sectors to be covered by the national market include energy-intensive industries like oil, aluminum, copper, steel and cement.


News Article
Site: http://www.reuters.com

A worker speaks as he loads coal on a truck at a depot near a coal mine from the state-owned Longmay Group on the outskirts of Jixi, in Heilongjiang province, China, October 24, 2015. China has long been considering an energy consumption cap in a bid to improve industrial efficiency, tackle smog and control greenhouse gas emissions, which are the highest in the world. Beijing is also pushing structural reforms to decouple economic growth from energy consumption. "Energy consumption will be less than 5 billion tonnes if China's structural adjustment goes smoothly," said Xi Fengming, an expert on carbon emissions at the China Academy of Sciences, adding that the planned launch of a nationwide carbon emissions market next year would make it easier to achieve. However, with energy demand growth already slowing considerably and China overshooting its 2011-2015 energy efficiency targets, there might have been room to lower the number further, researchers said. Yang Fuqiang, senior advisor at the U.S.-based think tank, the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the 5 billion figure was calculated by combining China's 6.5 percent economic growth projections for 2016-2020 with its target to cut energy intensity by 15 percent over the same period. "Based on my experience the government plans are conservative," he said. "There could be a higher 18 percent cut in energy intensity, and that means energy consumption could be kept at about 4.8 billion tonnes." The China Energy Research Society (CERS), a think tank, said in a report published last week that it expected energy consumption to reach 4.8 billion tonnes of standard coal by 2020 and rise to 5.3 billion tonnes by the end of 2030. "We should see this (5 billion tonne) target as a ceiling rather than a floor," said Zhou Dadi, an energy policy researcher at CERS. "Maybe we can achieve better results." Total energy consumption was 4.3 billion tonnes of standard coal in 2015, up 0.9 percent from the previous year, according to the most recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The average annual growth rate was 2.3 percent over 2012-2015, down from 6.4 percent in 2005-2012, the bureau said. With China determined to curb pollution and emissions, experts expressed disappointment at the failure to include a coal consumption cap. Coal consumption in China fell 2.2 percent last year as a result of stricter pollution controls as well as a downturn in demand. In a separate report published ahead of the opening of the full session of parliament on Saturday, the National Development and Reform Commission promised to limit growth of coal production and coal-fired power generation this year. China is aiming to eliminate as much as 500 million tonnes of surplus coal capacity from the market in the next five years. China also aims to cut carbon intensity - the amount of emissions per unit of GDP growth - by 18 percent over the same period. As part of its global climate change commitments, China has already pledged to reduce carbon intensity to 40-45 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.


News Article
Site: http://www.reuters.com

BEIJING China is further expanding a pilot scheme that gives local authorities more control over electricity transmission and distribution prices, as the world's largest power market steps up deregulation to boost efficiency. The government will allow 12 provinces and municipalities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Sichuan and Hunan to join the scheme, the National Development and Reform Commission said on Monday. That brings the total number of provinces and other locally administered regions under the scheme to 18, it said.


News Article | January 18, 2016
Site: http://www.theenergycollective.com/rss/all

The big news is that two Chinese state owned nuclear firms have announced plans to build floating nuclear power plants in the 100-300 MW range. (WNA) A demonstration floating nuclear power plant based on China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNC’s) ACP100S small reactor will be built by 2019. The move comes just days after China General Nuclear (CGN) said it will build a prototype offshore plant by 2020. CGN announced (next story) on 12 January that development of its ACPR50S reactor design had recently been approved by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) as part of the 13th Five-Year Plan for innovative energy technologies. CNNC said that its ACP100S reactor – a marine version of its ACP100 small modular reactor (SMR) design – had also been approved by the NDRC as part of the same plan. CNNC said its Nuclear Power Institute of China subsidiary had completed a preliminary design for a floating nuclear power plant featuring the ACP100S reactor as well as “all the scientific research work.” Construction of a demonstration unit is to start by the end of this year, with completion set for 2019. (WNA) China General Nuclear (CGN) expects to complete construction of a demonstration small modular offshore multi-purpose reactor by 2020. CGN said development of its ACPR50S reactor design had recently been approved by China’s National Development and Reform Commission as part of the 13th Five-Year Plan for innovative energy technologies. The company said it is currently carrying out preliminary design work for a demonstration ACPR50S project. Construction of the first floating reactor is expected to start next year with electricity generation to begin in 2020. The 60 MWe reactor has been developed for the supply of electricity, heat and desalination and could be used on islands or in coastal areas, or for offshore oil and gas exploration, according to CGN. The Chinese company said it is also working on the ACPR100 small reactor for use on land. This reactor will have an output of some 450 MWt (140 MWe) and would be suitable for providing power to large-scale industrial parks or to remote mountainous areas. CGN said the development of small-scale offshore and onshore nuclear power reactors will complement its large-scale plants and provide more diverse energy options. (WNA) A US House of Representatives committee has approved a bipartisan bill to support federal research and development (R&D) and stimulate private investment in advanced nuclear reactor technologies. The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology approved the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act. The bill was introduced by energy subcommittee chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas), along with full committee ranking member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) and chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas). The legislation directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to set priorities for federal R&D infrastructure that will enable the private sector to invest in advanced reactor technologies and provide a clear path forward to attract private investment for prototype development at DOE laboratories. It enables the private sector to partner with national laboratories for the purpose of developing novel reactor concepts, leverages DOE’s supercomputing infrastructure to accelerate nuclear energy R&D, and provides statutory direction for a DOE reactor-based fast neutron source that will operate as an open-access user facility. It also authorizes DOE to enable the private sector to construct and operate privately-funded reactor prototypes at DOE sites. In addition, the bill requires DOE to present a transparent, strategic, ten-year plan for prioritizing nuclear R&D programs. (NucNet) The global nuclear security system still has “major gaps” that prevent it from being truly comprehensive and effective, the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative says in its 2016 Index. The index, which assesses nuclear materials security conditions in 24 countries with one kilogramme or more of weapons-usable nuclear materials, says there is no common set of international standards and best practices, there is no mechanism for holding states with lax security accountable, and the legal foundation for securing nuclear materials is neither complete nor universally observed. In addition to assessing the risks posed by vulnerable nuclear materials and insufficient security policies in states that don’t have materials, the index assesses for the first time the potential risks to nuclear facilities posed by sabotage and cyberattack. It says cyberattacks are increasing and a growing number of states are exploring nuclear energy even though they lack the legal, regulatory, and security frameworks to ensure that their facilities are secure as well as safe. (NucNet) Westinghouse Electric Company’s Springfields facility in the UK has reached the requirements necessary to manufacture Westinghouse small modular reactor (SMR) fuel, Westinghouse said. This milestone is “a key first” for the UK’s SMR programme and an important part of Westinghouse’s proposed partnership with the UK government to deploy SMR technology. Westinghouse Springfields achieved the milestone following a readiness assessment based upon fabrication data for two proprietary SMR fuel assemblies manufactured at the company’s Columbia fuel fabrication facility in the US state of South Carolina. Mick Gornall, managing director of Westinghouse Springfields, said manufacturing Westinghouse SMR fuel at Springfields will “secure the future of a strategic national asset” of nuclear fuel manufacturing capability. (WNA) The first of four reactor coolant pumps for the initial AP1000 unit at the Haiyang site in China’s Shandong province has been transported by road from Curtiss-Wright’s manufacturing facility in Cheswick, Pennsylvania, to the port of Philadelphia ahead of shipment to China, State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation announced yesterday. The first two such pumps for Sanmen 1 in Zhejiang province – expected in September to be the first AP1000 to start up – arrived on the site on 30 December. (NucNet) Testing of the instrumentation and control (I&C) systems has begun at Teollisuuden Voima’s (TVO) Olkiluoto-3 nuclear plant with an application for an operating licence likely to be submitted in April, TVO said. The I&C systems will be used for operating, monitoring and controlling the 1,600-MW EPR unit. In December 2015 TVO said system commissioning of the plant is expected to begin in the spring of 2016 with regular electricity generation beginning in “more than three years. TVO said the estimated schedule came from plant supplier Areva-Siemens. Commissioning of the plant is about nine years behind schedule and costs are almost three times over budget. Market Reform Essential For Nuclear In US, Says NEI (NucNet) Market reform is essential to ensure that the reliability, environmental and economic benefits of nuclear power are not taken for granted, and that reactor operators are compensated for these attributes in the same way as other low-carbon sources, Alex Flint, the Washington-based Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice-president for governmental affairs, said in an interview published on the NEI’s website. Mr Flint said there has been “movement to address the issue”. He said at the national level, the NEI is working with the Edison Electric Institute and the Electric Power Supply Association to make officials at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency aware of the potential challenges to grid reliability and the administration’s clean air goals. In 2015, FERC and a number of regional transmission organizations took significant steps to address flaws in electricity markets that fail to provide the price signals needed to support investment in new or existing nuclear power plants. Mr Flint said, “Urged on by the NEI and a number of energy associations, FERC has begun a rulemaking to address price suppression and promises to address other issues in future. In an encouraging sign, Exelon Corporation cited positive regional reforms in deferring decisions on the potential closing of its Clinton nuclear station in Illinois and the Ginna nuclear station in New York.” Late last year Entergy Corporation said it would close its Pilgrim-1 and Fitzpatrick reactors because of poor economic conditions for nuclear.

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