Higher storage capacity to complement China’s renewables expansion
The growth in RE will be met by a 9.7% growth in storage capacity
The increasing hydro-electric pumped storage capacity is expected the expansion of renewable energy in mainland China, Fitch Solutions reported.
Fitch projected that solar and wind power capacity in the market will grow an average of 11.9% and 9.6% annually between 2022 and 2031.
This growth could be met by an annual growth of 9.7% on average in storage capacity over the same period. Fitch, however, noted this will need he support of the government.
The State Grid Corporation of China in 2019 announced plans to invest some US$5.6b to construct five hydro-electric pumped storage facilities. These are scheduled to come online in 2026.
“The motive behind this investment is to boost the uptake of electricity generated from renewable sources by storing it in pumped storage facilities and consuming it during peak demands,” the report read in part.
“This ensures that the electricity generation intermittency issues of solar and wind power plants are addressed, notably when the plants are generating during periods of low electricity demand.”
In the same report, Fitch noted that hydro-pumped storage will remain the largest storage type in China, considering gravity and battery storage will unlikely grow at the same magnitude.
Just this May, Mainland China started construction of its first gravity storage facility which will store some 100 megawatt-hour of electricity. Meanwhile, battery storage capacity in the market stands at 32 gigawatt-hour as of 2021.