The thermal power investment continues to decline for six consecutive years The 2012 "electricity shortage" will continue

After a difficult period of 2011, the electricity market situation in 2012 is still not optimistic.

The investment in thermal power has been falling for six consecutive years. The survival of hydropower and thermal power directly determines the power market situation.

According to Shan Yuguo, director of the Institute of Economics and Energy Supply and Demand Research of the State Grid Energy Research Institute, “Judging the situation of electricity supply and demand in 2012 mainly depends on the supply of electricity and the output of water and electricity. Hydroelectricity typically depends on the weather for dinner. Once there is a shortage of water, it must be added. The thermal power contribution will be affected by the size of the installed capacity, the supply of electricity coal, and the on-grid tariff."

Industry statistics show that China's thermal power investment decreased for the sixth consecutive year. In 2011, the investment in thermal power was only 46.4% of that in 2005, a year-on-year decrease of 26%, and the proportion of thermal power investment in power investment dropped to 28.4%.

According to data released by the National Energy Administration, the nation’s investment in power engineering construction in 2011 was 371.2 billion yuan, a decrease of 25.8 billion yuan over the previous year, of which hydropower completed 94 billion yuan, an increase of 14.8% year-on-year; thermal power investment was 105.4 billion yuan, a decrease of 37.2 billion yuan.

Shan Yaoguo said: "According to the power engineering cycle, the drop in thermal power investment in the year mainly affected the power supply in two years. In the short term, the increase in installed capacity of thermal power basically meets the demand for electricity. The main problem at present is the lack of structural capacity. Cross-regional power supply capacity is insufficient."

Looking back at hydropower, the utilization hours of hydropower equipment in 2011 was 3028 hours, which was 376 hours lower than the previous year. It was the lowest in nearly 30 years. “The hydropower production situation in 2012 may still be not optimistic.” Insiders suggested that the country needs to accelerate the environmental assessment of hydropower basins and power stations, and approve the start of a batch of follow-up hydropower projects as soon as conditions are met.

In terms of power installed capacity, the CEC report is expected to add about 85 million kilowatts of installed capacity in 2012. Among them, about 20 million kilowatts of hydropower has been added, and thermal power has been reduced to about 50 million kilowatts. At the end of the year, the installed capacity of full-caliber power generation has reached about 1.14 billion kilowatts.

In addition, the annual utilization time of power generation equipment is expected to be around 4750 hours, and the utilization hours of thermal power equipment is 5300-5400 hours.

The "utilization hours of thermal power equipment" indicates whether the unit is operating at full capacity. In the industry, this indicator is a basis for judging the power supply and demand situation. From historical experience, thermal power utilization hours from 5300 hours to 5700 hours indicate tight supply and demand.

Eradicating the "electricity shortage" with institutional changes

Central China, East China, and South China are areas where the "electricity shortage" frequently visits. Although there are different reasons in different regions, the underlying institutional problems are the same.

The SERC's Information Center “Investigation Report on the Electricity Supply and Demand Situation in Guangdong and Guangxi” stated that it is expected that the supply and demand situation of China Southern Power Grid will be more severe in 2012 than in 2011 due to factors such as incoming water and coal power supply. The maximum power gap is between 8 million and 14 million kilowatts, which is the most difficult from April to May. The average power gap is about 13 million kilowatts.

From the perspective of provinces and regions, Guangdong's largest electricity gap is 6-10 million kilowatts, Guangxi 3 million kilowatts, Guizhou 3 million kilowatts, Yunnan 2 million kilowatts, and Hainan 200,000 kilowatts.

According to the above research report, the main reason for the tight supply of electricity in the southern region is the relatively low water supply, tight coal supply, high coal prices, and coal and electricity contradiction. In fact, these old institutional and institutional problems are the ills that affect the nation's electricity supply, and they are also the core factors affecting the inability of the electricity market to be virtuous.

CEC put forward policy suggestions on coal supply, coal price management, coal-electricity linkage, railway transportation, etc. in its power supply and demand analysis report.

For example, as soon as possible to release coal production capacity, increase domestic coal production, control domestic coal exports, increase the scale of coal imports, to ensure adequate supply of coal; to do a good job of supervision and inspection of coal prices, rectify circulation, strictly control the price of coal (plant) The timely start of coal-fired linkage, streamline the formation of electricity pricing mechanism as soon as possible to improve the production and operation environment of thermal power enterprises; overall arrangements for the existing railway transport capacity, and organize the transport of coal in key areas, speed up the approval of the construction of "Northern Coal South transport" railway coal pipeline .

Different from previous years, the electric power company's judgment is that there is little possibility that coal prices will rise sharply.

Chen Zongfa, director of the policy and legal department of China Huadian Corporation, wrote an analysis that "in 2012, the coal price in the market is unlikely to rise substantially, and it will keep running at a high level."

It is mainly based on the following analysis. Due to the slowdown in China's economic growth, the growth of electricity demand has slowed down. In terms of coal production, China’s coal production has increased by 10% in 2011, an increase of 300 million tons from the previous year, and a net import of 150 million tons. In 2011, the two sales price increases affected the growth of high-energy-consuming industries, and the newly increased scale of thermal power decreased significantly. Both of them affected the consumption of electricity; the national coal price limit policy had a certain suppression of rising coal prices.

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