China will allow more types of electricity to be connected to the national grid free of charge, a move aimed at improving the energy-saving industry and reducing carbon emissions.
State Grid Corp, the largest State-owned power utility company, said on Wednesday that power projects including solar, natural gas, biomass, wind and ocean energy, will be allowed to connect to the national grid with the companies responsible for construction fees and meters.
Photovoltaic solar power producers have been able to hook into the grid since October.
The installed power generation capacity of a single project should be no more than 6 megawatts, according to the new rules published on Wednesday.
Ren Kai, the first person in Beijing to connect distributed photovoltaic solar power to the grid, said the rules have clarified certain points, such as the policy that the company hooking in will pay for the new meters, which usually cost several thousand yuan each.
"The new policy includes other kinds of new energy, which is good news, but not all of this is suitable for distributed power generation," he said.
For instance, the wind power plants are not easy for individuals to operate and biomass energy is really still at the very early stages.
"The clarified policy can raise customer confidence for the future of distributed power projects," he said. "However, the most important factors - subsidies and on-grid electricity prices - are not mentioned."
Zhang Zhengling, spokesman for the State Grid, said the subsidy policies are only fit for large owners and projects, and they must be approved by the central government.
"I hope the government can publish the details of the subsidy regulations for distributed power projects soon," Zhang said.
On October 26, the State Grid announced it would connect distributed PV solar power producers to the national grid free of charge. The move was seen as offering a helping hand to the domestic PV solar industry, which has been suffering from high punitive tariffs from anti-dumping and anti-subsidies investigations against Chinese products from the United States and Europe.
Since October, the State Grid said it has received up to 119 applications for distributed solar projects with total generation capacity of 338, 000 kW.
The company said that by the end of last year, there were 15,600 distributed power generation projects with total installed capacity of 34.36 million kW in China.
According to the country's energy plan for the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), China will establish 1,000 natural gas power generation projects, and distributed solar power generation will reach 10 million kW by the end of 2015.
In Qingdao, Shandong province, the country's first residential PV solar system was connected to the national grid on December 25.
The owner of that project, Xu Pengfei, said the electricity generated is enough for his household use and the additional electricity has been sold to the State Grid.
Xu submitted his application to the State Grid's local branch on Nov 9.
He said he is satisfied with the services of the State Grid. Two workers were sent to help him set up the system.
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