Nowhere else in the world are there as many wind turbines as in China. But instead of spinning, almost every fifth of them is not moving – 17 pct. to be exact. This is because the Chinese coal power plants lack flexibility in terms of reducing power from renewable sources, such as wind and sun.
Cowi wants to change that. Huaneng Power International has chosen the Danish company as a consultant in order to streamline the operation of their coal power plants, thereby ensuring a significant reduction in carbon consumption and CO2 emissions
Enormous waste of energy
“The Chinese are making great efforts to expand their green energy. But that does not matter if the coal-fired works only bulge in periods when the need for electricity could easily be covered by sun or wind. And that’s a big waste of energy”, says Director of Cowi’s Energy Division Brian Seeberg, explaining: “The problem arises because coal power plants not only supply electricity but also heat. This means that, for example, in the winter, the coal-fired plants have to go on and instead stop the wind turbines in order not to overload the power network. And this so-called curtailment is one of China’s major challenges on the energy front”, he emphasizes. Cowi’s solution simply is to store heat energy in acculumulators.
“It’s about flexibility in the energy supply, and those competences have been developed in Denmark through the last 30 years. At our CHP plants, we can regulate the production, so that it always fit with the supply form our alternative energy sources. This we want to teach in Chin, and therefore we will make this demo project and show how it works”, says Brian Seeberg.
The customer, Huaneng Power Interantional, is one of China’s largest power and heat manufacturers with a power plant capacity of 70,000 MW at plants in 21 provinces.
It is very unusual for a European company to get an agreement directly with such a large Chinese company. Cowi has no doubt that this is due to a Danish-Chinese energy agreement which was made in January last year, signed by the Danish as well as the Chinese energy minister.
“Increased export of Danish energy technology is a top priority for me as a minister. It is therefore very satisfying that the agreement I signed now opens doors for Danish companies in China”, says Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Chr. Lilleholt.