China releases plan to boost marine renewables

Illustration/Sharp Eagle WEC (Photo: GIEC)

State Oceanic Administration of China, the country’s maritime authority, has published a five-year plan to accelerate the development and use of ocean renewable energy.

The plan, released on January 12, 2017, proposes measures to increase the application of tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), salinity gradient for electricity generation technologies, amongst others, in China’s electricity mix.

It follows the publication of China’s energy plan under which 2.5 trillion yuan ($363 billion) will be invested in renewable energy by 2020, with around 3 billion yuan set aside to support tidal and geothermal energy sources.

Under the plan for marine renewables, China intends to increase its research efforts into these technologies by conducting resource assessments, promoting greater use of renewable resources on its islands, and developing technology and equipment through testing and demonstration projects.

Tidal and wave demonstration projects will be mainly carried out in Zhejiang and Guangdong regions, respectively.

When it comes to islands, China plans to construct around five renewable energy demonstration projects to ensure secure supply of power for islands.

Also, China plans to strengthen its research and innovation of marine renewable energy technologies, through the development of a 500kW tidal unit, 100kW wave device, and 50kW OTEC demonstrator that would help researchers master the technological challenges.

In addition, the plan states China will increase its efforts to accelerate the construction of a national public service platform combining maritime testing, laboratory simulation and resource data.

Furthermore, China plans to strengthen the standardization of marine renewable technologies, and increase international cooperation on the development of global renewable ocean energy sector.

As reported earlier, a new £200 million (2 billion yuan) marine laboratory campus is being planned for Qingdao, Shandong Province, for which the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) will provide feasibility study for the creation of a Chinese version of EMEC.

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