China to invest US$31bn in provincial smart grid by 2020

smart grid development in Xianjiang-China
China’s State Grid Corporation plans to invest US$31 billion for smart grid development in Xianjiang Province to allow electricity sharing with other provinces and neighbouring countries

In East Asia, the Chinese government has announced plans to construct power grids in the north-west province of Xinjiang to allow interconnection with the country’s eastern provinces, Pakistan and other Asian countries.

The grid projects will also guarantee power supply for local residents and enterprises in Xinjiang.

According to China’s news agency Xinhua, the State Grid Corporation of China will in the next five years allocate 200 billion yuan (US$31 billion) to Xinjiang Electric Power Company for implementation of the project.

The project will include the grid integration of renewable energy and installation of power transmission lines by 2020.

Global energy network

The initiative is in line with China’s plans to build a global energy network to meet global power demand using smart energy technology, as outlined in September by the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, to the UN Sustainable Development Summit, reported the state-run news agency.

Commenting on the plans, Liu Zhenya, president of the State Grid Corporation, said China will accelerate grid interconnectivity with neighbouring countries such as Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Nepal and Thailand in the coming decade.

Mr Liu added the state estimates a global energy network will be completed by 2050.

Smart grid development in China

The news comes as China’s annual investment in smart grid development and related infrastructure from 2016 to 2030 is estimated to reach 820 billion yuan (US$128 billion), according to Mr Liu.

In July, Metering & Smart Energy International reported the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission pledged the country will produce 20% of its energy needs from renewable and nuclear energy by 2030.

The Commission said it plans to improve flexible control over transmission and distribution networks to ensure energy security and stability.

Meanwhile, China heavily relies on electricity it purchases from Russia since 1992 and plans to construct Ultra High Voltage grid to transmit power to the eastern coastal developed areas.