China's Renewable Energy Rollout is Collapsing Their Grid Also

New government regulations aim to reduce the amount of renewable generation that has to be abandoned by increasing long-distance transmission links and better coordinating generation plans across provinces.

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Since the end of 2018, China's total generating capacity has increased by 1.137 billion kilowatts (kW), compound annual growth of 9%, according to data from the National Bureau of statistics (NBS).

Thermal capacity, mainly from coal-fired plants but some from gas-fired generators, rose by 257 million kW or 4% per year ("China statistical yearbook", NBS, 2023).

Most capacity additions, however, have come from what the government calls "new energy sources" - wind farms (277 million kW, 19% per year) and solar generators (517 million kW, 29% per year). Increased penetration of intermittent renewables is making it harder to manage a nationwide transmission system that was already struggling with large regional imbalances between generation and load.

The solution to variable wind and solar output is to smooth out fluctuations across a larger number of generators spread over much larger areas of the country, which will require more transmission and better scheduling.

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