What’s Going on With China’s Tidal Energy Industry?
About the China Tidal Energy Summit 2015
Under the threatening pressure of energy shortages and environmental pollution, China has planned several strategies to accelerate the development of renewable energy technologies. The China Tidal Energy Summit 2015 will take place in Wenzhou, Zhejiang between the 16th and 17th of April 2015. The event will gather over 200 senior decision makers from the tidal industry, who will have the chance to discuss strategies and solutions for the challenges concerning this industry.
Under the Development Plan for Renewable Energy in China, the country has set a target to achieve 15% of its energy consumption with renewable energy by 2020. Tidal energy is one of the most promising renewable energy sources and so a lot of pressure will be applied to this industry in order to achieve China’s renewable energy targets in the next years.
About Tidal Energy in China
At the moment, China is undergoing a tidal power utilization feasibility study stage, in which project the country has already invested $3.3 on surveys. The Chinese government supports tidal current energy by establishing research and development plans and by assigning a portion of the national financial budget for the development of the tidal energy industry.
However, despite the fact that great advancements have been achieved in the tidal current energy utilization, technologies in China still have a vast untapped potential. Apart from the common technology challenges in the development of tidal current, like loadings, operations and maintenance, China also faces high cost, poor stability and small-scale systems.
In addition, from the technical point of view, the prospect of China’s tidal current is far from optimistic. The tidal current systems that have been installed to date in China are small off-grid tidal current power (<100 kW), and are on the stage of technical feasibility demonstration. It is expected though, that with the support of China’s government and with the help of local energy companies, the tidal energy industry will go under fast development and the industry will hopefully boom.
For example, there are plans for a renewable energy program by China National Offshore Corp. It will be about tidal current and plans to build a demonstration base including tidal current, wave and wind in an isolated island. Many other projects like this one are expected to take place during the next 10 years, leading to a fast expansion of the tidal energy sector in China. Several large scale energy companies in China, like Shenhua Group, China National Petroleum Corporation and China Petrochemical Corporation, are putting an eye on this industry.