We talked about America, where the energy crisis in Texas, caused by gas and coal power plants, and the current crisis in China, caused by a shortage of coal, have led to record demand for solar panels and storage systems, and as a result, a sharp increase in new production of solar panels. And a new $ 555 billion Build Back Better program to support renewable energy and electric vehicles has already been named
In China, where the economic recovery is booming, after the pandemic triggered the global energy crisis, they reacted just as quickly to the changes. The primary cause of the crisis was coal (its share in the country’s energy balance is almost 60%), or rather its shortage and the reasons for this, a drop in its own production and a ban on imports from Australia, a decrease in supplies from Mongolia, etc.
Today this root cause has been practically eliminated. China has increased its own production, exceeding 11.5 million tons per day, and coal reserves at power plants, according to the National Development and Reform Commission NDRC, exceeded 110 million tons.
China also increased imports of coal, where America and Canada came out on top in terms of supplies, Russia also increased the volume of supplies. Daily supplies exceeded consumption by 1 million tons. All this led to a sharp drop in coal prices.
At the same time, China has contracted almost all coal exported from the United States for 2022. But there is practically no growth in imports on an annualized basis. From January to October, the increase in purchased coal was only 1.9%. Thus, China is replacing Australian coal with supplies from other countries, and by the end of the year imports are expected to drop altogether.
These events prompted the Chinese leadership to revise its energy policy.
According to Xi Jinping, China is preparing new implementation plans for various sectors of the economy, which will accelerate the development of renewable energy sources.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced the construction of additional solar and wind power plants in the northern provinces with a capacity of 30 GW to reduce dependence on coal.
It is planned to build a plant for the production of solar panels with a capacity of 60 GW per year, currently the largest in the world. The People’s Bank of China has been entrusted with the function of providing concessional lending for the development of renewable energy. China has reduced the share of coal in total energy consumption from more than 70% in 2009 to about 57% in 2020, now the process will go faster.
Energy crises lead not only to negative consequences, and not for everyone.
In America, thanks to well-known events, the need for changes became obvious to everyone, and the opening window of opportunities for high prices in China made it possible to make money on the supply of coal and gas.
On the extremely high gas prices in Europe, the Norwegian Equinor will make good money, selling 70% of gas on the spot market, where the prices are highest, and, unlike Gazprom, having increased supplies to the maximum possible. In October, the level of gas supplies from Norway to Europe reached 330 million m3 / day, for example, Gazprom supplies — 339 million m3 / day. At the same time, in October last year, Gazprom supplies averaged 474 million m3 / day.
But the sharp rise in energy prices has already affected the entire global economy. The rise in prices for ferrous and non-ferrous metals, building materials, equipment, etc. affected everyone without exception.
All that is happening suggests that energy systems built on fossil fuels are unreliable and do not meet the requirements of today. And if governments paid more attention to renewable energy, then these crises could be avoided.
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