USA vs China – energy battle continues

USA vs China – energy battle continues

Energy battle continues

USA vs China – energy battle continues

The installed capacity of the new U.S. plants in January 2013 was 1231 MW. All these megawatts are coming from renewable energy. As reported in U.S. Internet portal “Renewable Energy”, according to the Federal Secretariat for Energy regulation newly installed capacity for electricity production are coming exclusively from renewable sources. That means the new plants do not use any natural gas, coal, oil, or any large hydro potential.

New installed capacity are using wind energy (six plants with total installed capacity of 958 MW), solar (16 plants with a total installed capacity of 267 MW) and biomass (6 plants with a total capacity of 6 MW). With the newly constructed facilities, the share of plants that use renewable energy sources has increased by six times – last year the total installed capacity of these plants was 431 MW.

The structure of the production facilities that uses renewable energy sources in the U.S. today is as follows – 8.5% hydro facilities, 5.17% wind power, biomass power plants 1.29%, solar power plants 0.38% and geothermal plants 0.32%. On the other hand plants that use fossil fuels are accounted with following percentage of the total capacity – thermal oil 3.54% , nukes 9.23%, thermal coal 29.04%, and natural gas power plants with 42.37%.

China is not lagging in the use of renewable energy sources

wind energy

wind energy

Production of electrical energy which comes from wind power plants overtook electricity that comes from nuclear power plants. China last year intensively invest in wind energy utilization. The result of these investments is reflected in the 100 TWh of electricity produced by wind power plants. Earth Policy Institute reported how in the last five years the total number of installed wind turbines grew by more than 70% compared to the nuclear facilities.

In 2011, China planned to build 29 new nuclear reactors, but after the Fukushima disaster in all those plans fell into the water. A moratorium that was connected to the construction of new nuclear facilities expired in October 2012, so the Chinese are planning to build new nuclear power stations but only with the third generation reactors. These generators are characterized by better combustion technology, standardized design that allows for easier maintenance of the reactors.

The basic problem that China has with the construction of new reactors is inexperience in building them, so it is very unlikely to fulfill the plan that they are planning for the construction of nuclear power plants with installed capacity of 40,000 MW by 2015.

On the other hand, wind energy represents 5.3% of total electricity production. These facilities meet only 2% of the total Chinese electricity needs. In the past two years it has been built over 19,000 MW of new wind powers, but the main problem in their connection is old and inconvenient electrical power grid.


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