Bioenergy, Energy Efficiency, News

China added 1.5 GW of biomass power generation capacity during first half of this year

According to data recently released by the China’s Biomass Energy Industry Promotion Association (BEIPA), the country’s biomass power generation sector added 1.51 GW of new installations during the first half of this year, with accumulated installation capacity reaching 25.2 GW.

Of the total, 860 MW were new waste incineration power generation facilities, with total installed capacity increasing to 13 GW; 570 MW were for processing agricultural and forestry biomass, with the capacity accumulating to 11.4 GW; 80 MW were for biogas, with the overall capacity growing to 830 MW.

Total power delivered by the new installations was 603 MW less than the amount added during the first half of last year, mainly due to the slowdown in construction caused by the COVID-19 epidemic and the less-than-satisfactory investment dynamics as a result of unclear subsidy polices for new projects beyond 2020.

China’s biomass sector generated 61.8 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity during the first half, a year-over-year increase of 23.7 percent. Of the total, 35.6 TWh were generated from domestic waste incinerations, up 40.8 percent; 24.4 TWh were for processing agricultural and forestry biomass, up 5.6 percent; 1.8 billion TWh were for biogas, up 13.8 percent. All segments demonstrated growth.

The top five provinces in terms of the total energy delivered by the facilities were Shandong, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, with the power generated at 3.04 GW, 2.73 GW, 2.09 GW, 2.06 GW and 2.00 GW, respectively, while the top five provinces in terms of new installations were Guangdong, Jiangxi, Hebei, Guangxi and Shanxi at 263 MW, 187 MW, 130 MW, 124 MW and 111 MW, respectively. Guangdong, Shandong, Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang recorded the most impressive results in terms of annual power generation volume, delivering 7.64 TWh, 7.42 TWh, 5.9 TWh, 5.28 TWh and 5.16 TWh, respectively.

Based on the on-grid volume of electricity generated from biomass in various provinces during the first half, the government authorities with oversight of the industry are expected to grant subsidies amounting to 12.7 billion yuan (approx. US$1.84 billion), broken down by 8.87 billion yuan (approx. US$1.28 billion) for the agricultural and forestry biomass segment, 3.43 billion yuan (approx. 496 million) for the domestic waste incineration segment, and 400 million yuan (approx. US$57.8 million) for the biogas segment.

The country’s biomass sector experienced steady growth in new power generation installations during the first half of 2020 and is expected to add the new capacity totaling 3 GW during the whole of 2020, based on the receipt of annual subsidies amounting to 3 billion yuan (approx. US$434 million).

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic and the anticipated adjustments to industry policies, China’s biomass power generation sector saw slower growth compared to last year. The country’s authorities are still working out the annual construction management plan for new biomass power generation projects for the whole of 2020. Based on the central government’s 5-year plan covering 2021-2025, the country’s biomass power generation sector is expected to witness steady growth during the period.