Hydroelectric Power in China in 2020: developments and trends

The development of the hydropower industry is significantly affected by the status of China’s water resources. The current decline in China’s total water resources is more obvious and the distribution is significant regionally.

The development of the hydropower industry is significantly affected by the status of China’s water resources. The current decline in China’s total water resources is more obvious and the distribution is significant regionally.

China has always attached importance to the development of the hydropower industry, and the scale of investment in hydropower construction in 2019 reached 83.9 billion yuan.

In recent years, the cumulative installed capacity of the Chinese hydropower industry has continued to increase, but the new installed capacity annually highlights a downward trend.

In the future, China will continue to develop the hydropower industry, and the scale of West to East (the diversion of electricity from the western to the eastern regions) will continue to expand.

China’s total water resources show a downward trend

According to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, during 2014-2018, China’s total water resources first increased and then declined.

In 2016, the total amount of water resources reached a peak of 3,246.64 billion cubic meters. In 2018, the total amount of water resources in China was 2,746.25 billion cubic meters, a decrease of 4.5% from 2017.

Regional distribution of water resources in China

According to statistics released by the Ministry of Water Resources, in 2018, Tibet had the largest total water resources, at 465.82 billion cubic meters; followed by Sichuan, the total water resources were 295.26 billion cubic meters.

On the whole, China’s water resources are mainly distributed in the southeast and central and western regions, and hydropower generation is inseparable from water resources, so it can be concluded that the southeast and central and western regions of China are rich in energy storage.

China’s hydropower construction investment growth rate is on the rise

As an important industry for generating renewable energy, the hydropower industry has been strongly supported by the state.

From 2016 to 2019, the overall growth rate of China’s hydropower construction investment scale showed an upward trend. In 2019, China’s hydropower construction investment scale was 83.9 billion yuan, an increase of 19.86% over the same period in 2018.

From January to April 2020, China’s hydropower construction investment scale was 21.2 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 15.80%. This is mainly due to the impact of the new coronary pneumonia epidemic. Following the nationwide full-scale resumption of production, the decline in the growth rate of its investment scale will shrink.

According to China Electricity Council data, the cumulative installed capacity of China’s hydropower industry has increased year by year from 2013 to 2019, but the growth rate has declined year by year. In 2019, the cumulative installed capacity of the hydropower industry is about 358 million kilowatts, an increase of 1.55% over the previous year.

According to data from China Electricity Council, the new installed capacity and growth rate of China’s hydropower industry in 2017-2019 are both showing a downward trend. In 2019, the newly installed capacity of China’s hydropower industry was 4.45 million kilowatts, a decrease of 48.20% compared with the same period of the previous year, a larger decline.

“West to East” continues to expand

In the next three decades, China will promote the strategy of hydropower “West to East”, focusing on construction of large hydropower bases on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, the Jinsha River, the Yalong River, the Dadu River, the Lancang River, the upper Yellow River, the Nanpan River, the Red Water River, the Nu River, and the Yarlung Zangbo River.

China strengthens the construction of transmission channels in the north, central and southern regions, continuously expands and improves the transmission of hydropower from west to east, and realizes an optimized allocation of resources in a wider range.

Disclaimer: This is an article created by Michael Liang for Chinasdg.org. You can find the original article here: https://chinasdg.org/2020/07/08/hydroelectric-power-in-china-in-2020-developments-and-trends/.

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