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Chinese energy sector readies for change

China, the second-largest energy consumer in the world after the U.S., has its work cut out for it moves to slice its carbon-dioxide emissions, and analysts predict that its efforts will provide long-term opportunities for the gas, nuclear, power-equipment and large-scale wind-power sectors.

"As the Chinese government aims to reduce
carbon emissions and, most importantly, control and reduce pollution, which is presently one of the country's main problems and challenges, a move away from the reliance on coal to other energy sources is becoming one of the central government's priority policies," said Martin Hennecke, an associate director at Tyche Group Ltd. in Hong Kong.

China would need to "add to the mix of non-coal sources" and lower the CO2 per kilowatt-hour generated from existing coal-fired plants to meet its plan to reduce CO2 as a percentage of gross domestic product by at least 40% by 2020, Credit Suisse analysts said in a research note.

At present, coal is the primary source of energy in China, and it consumed about 3.1 billion tonnes of standard coal in 2009, and it's expected to consume 3.3 billion in 2010, according to a recent report by Xinhua news agency.

By 2020,
China may consume 4.8 billion tons of standard coal and discharge over 10 billion tonnes of carbon, the report said, citing comments from Dai Yande, vice director with the Energy Research Institute, a think tank with the National Development and Reform Commission.

Currently, coal provides 69% of China's primary energy and contributes 83% of its CO2 emission, analysts at Credit Suisse said.

China would need to "continue to close smaller [coal-powered] units, improve cross-provincial grid transmission and augment the thermal coal in existing plants," the analysts said.

"Overall, this trend in the longer term will benefit large equipment makers with broad product mix within the thermal
power market," they said.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that 51% of coal consumption goes into power- and heating-related needs, the Credit Suisse analysts said.

Given that, "adding coal-fired power plants that consume less coal to generate the similar KWH of power is the way forward," the Credit Suisse analysts said. That's why China has been "aggressively shutting smaller coal-fired units and replacing them with super-critical or ultra-super-critical coal-fired units."

But in order to reach its carbon emissions reduction goal, China should also consider "non-coal" sources, they said.

If the compound annual
growth rate of the nation's primary energy was 5% for 2009-2020, then based on Credit Suisse's current estimate of non-coal energy supply growth, "China would be able to achieve its goals," analysts at the brokerage said. 

时间:2010-5-12 23:32:44
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