China s Electricity System: A Primer on Planning, Pricing, and Operations. Fritz Kahrl Jim Williams E3

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1 China s Electricity System: A Primer on Planning, Pricing, and Operations Fritz Kahrl Jim Williams E3

2 Context Framing question: How to reduce CO 2 emissions in China s power sector? Figure: Wind Curtailment (% Output) as a Function of Wind Penetration by Province in the Three Norths Region, 2011 Simple (necessary) answer: Reduce uncontrolled coal combustion Real (sufficient) answer: Change institutions and practices Source: SERC, Regulatory Report on Wind Integration in Key Areas, SERC Report, 2012

3 Slide Overview Planning Pricing Operations 3

4 PLANNING 4

5 Planning in China 划 jìhuà Central planning Administrative allocation of resources 划 guīhuà Sector planning Public-private infrastructure planning 5

6 Load-resource planning Orderly electricity use ( yǒuxù yòngdiàn) Load- Resource Balancing Five-year planning Long-term transmission planning 6

7 Orderly electricity use Load planning (jìhuà) Beginning in 1960s, planning agencies develop load curtailment strategies Often ad hoc and arbitrary In 2011, created formal orderly use planning process, with local peak power quotas Local planning agencies create rationing plans Figure: Demand Rationing Plan for Nanyang Municipality, Henan Province, 2012 Level Power Shortage Level/Color Incremental Measures IV <10 percent Normal ( ) 1. Restrict load for illegal projects, firms that fall in the re;re ( taotai) and restricted ( xianzhi) differen;al price categories, or firms that are more energy- intensive than na;onal minimum standards 2. Limit produc;on from other energy- or emissions- intensive firms III II 10 to 15 percent 15 to 20 percent Somewhat Severe ( ) Severe ( ) I >20 percent Very Severe () 3. Implement weekly or rota;ng outages 4. Large users implement peak avoidance produc;on ( bifeng shengchan) 5. Limit produc;on by calcium carbine, iron alloy, aluminum, steel, cement, and other energy- intensive firms, while maintaining supply for residen;al customers and key agencies 6. Implement two- day- a- week peak load avoidance for mining, equipment manufacturing, and pharmaceu;cal firms 7. Curtail iron alloy, non- metal minerals, and fire- resistant material producers; limit produc;on by municipal aluminum steel and cement producers and all sub- municipal- level industrial and chemical producers 8. Under extreme circumstances, curtail all industrial load that does not affect social stability or residen;al customers Source: Nanyang Municipal Government. (2012). Nanyang Municipality Orderly Electricity Use Plan for summer and winter peaks, 2012 阳

8 Five-year planning Part bureaucracy Part investment planning Part industrial policy National Planning (NDRC) Part social mobilization Provincial Planning (DRC, EIC, ETC) Part ideology Local Planning (DRC, EIC, ETC) 8

9 Hierarchy of five-year plans State Council Economic and Social Development Plan Central agencies Energy Development Plan Coal Hydropower Natural Gas Electricity Oil Renewables Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Plan Transmission Wind Industrial Energy Efficiency Plan Solar Biomass Provincial agencies Energy Development Plan Coal Hydropower Natural Gas Electricity Oil Renewables Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Plan 9

10 Long-term transmission planning Long-term transmission plans currently cover 8 years ( ) Planning and investment driven by grid companies; historically NDRC just acts as a rubber stamp State Grid 2005 plan to create a national UHV backbone generates opposition Continued disagreement over the future of long-distance transmission, regional interconnections Figure: State Grid 2020 UHV Transmission Plan Source: 10

11 PRICING 11

12 Retail pricing Background: During central planning, prices did not reflect costs; no attempt to rationalize electricity rates after reforms; incremental costs allocated by perceived WTP NDRC/DRCs set retail prices to control inflation and as development policy; inverted rate structure Significant diversity of rates and rate structures in China Figure: Retail prices in Guangdong, 2011 US cents/kwh Commercial Industry Large Industry Guangdong Agriculture Residential Irrigation Sources: Guangdong prices are from jgs.ndrc.gov.cn 12

13 Wholesale generation pricing Background: China has effectively had unbundled generation and T&D/retail, need for wholesale generation rates since the mid-1980s Wholesale rates for most generation on benchmark basis since early 2000s Key terminology: Benchmark tariff ( biāogān diànjià) Energy-only benchmark price paid to (thermal) generators, based on the embedded cost of a new unit Operating hours ( lìyòng xiǎoshí) Fully loaded operating hours (i.e., the numerator in a capacity factor) Benchmark tariff calculation:!"#$h&'() *'(+,,=.#+*,+/"0 $12*2/45"('*+#6 h17(2 +.#+* 9'(+':;" $12*2 (=7'#/)>h) ( =7'#/)> =(/ h17(2/=( ) (=7'#/)>h) 13

14 T&D pricing Background: Like retail prices, T&D prices were never rationalized after central planning; to the extent there has been any cost accounting at all, focus on incremental costs 5(+$"=B9"('6" ("*'+; 5(+$" B9"('6" 6"#"('*+1# $12* Lack of pricing principles is a long-recognized problem, but historically little motivation to change T&D industry and rates the focus of power sector reforms 14

15 Long-distance transmission pricing Significant increase in cross-province and cross-regional transmission over the 2000s, mostly for large, dedicated coal and hydro plants Additional avenues for cost recovery on these lines (e.g., regional price differences) Long-distance transmission pricing a key area for reforms Figure: Examples of dedicated long-distance transmission lines, 2005 Source: IEA, 2006, China s Power Sector Reforms: Where to Next? 15

16 OPERATIONS 16

17 Dispatch hierarchy Unified dispatch and multi-level management ( tongyi diaodu, fenji guanli) Level Host Jurisdiction Key Functions National SGCC guodiao Regional wangdiao zongdiao Provincial shengdiao zhongdiao Prefecture didiao or shidiao County xiandiao Regional grid companies Provincial grid companies Prefecture power supply organizations County power supply organizations Voltage level: >500 kv Geographic: Regional interties Generators: Large thermal or hydropower exported across regions Voltage level: kv Geographic: Provincial interties Generators: Pumped hydro storage, regulation Voltage level: 220 kv ( kv terminal substations) Geographic: Bulk provincial system Generators: Larger generators not controlled by RDO or NDO Voltage level: 220 kv Geographic: Local system Generators: Smaller local generators Voltage level: 110 kv Geographic: County system Generators: Any remaining generators Interregional balancing, interregional dispatch Interprovincial balancing, interprovincial dispatch Intra-provincial balancing, intraprovincial dispatch, coordinating load management Prefecture load management County load management 17

18 Dispatch and output planning Need to maintain operating hours for fixed cost recovery means that dispatch is not least-cost-based In most provinces, dispatch organizations attempt to maintain roughly equal operating hours across generators, regardless of heat rates Operating hour conflicts are important driver of wind curtailment Figures show annual operating hours for coal generators in Guangxi Province B A B A Source: Kahrl et al., The Political Economy of Electricity Dispatch in China, Energy Policy, B A 18

19 Energy efficient dispatch To address inefficiency of dispatch, central government began energy efficient dispatch pilot in 5 provinces in 2007; one of these is Guangdong Energy efficient dispatch is based on administratively set ranking of generation types for dispatch; within each generation type based on heat rate No change in compensation (same benchmark price); pilots have been difficult to implement Figure: Energy Efficient Dispatch Order for Guangdong Province, 2013 Source: Guangdong DRC and EIC. (2013). Base 2013 Energy Efficient Dispatch Table for Guangdong Province (2013 ) 19

20 Flexibility problems In hydro limited provinces, coal often used for load following Requires significant ramping of coal units, running at low load factors during the evening Peak-valley difference ( feng gu cha) a metric for tracking severity of this problem Coal Pmin problems an important driver of wind curtailment Figure: Load shape and peak-valley difference for Guangxi Province,

21 Conclusions " China needs reforms in electricity planning, pricing, operations to transition to a low carbon electricity system Planning: Better and more economic matching of supply and demand Pricing: More cost reflective retail rates, wholesale generation rates that allow for optimized dispatch and more efficient capacity mix, transmission pricing Operations: More economic approach to unit commitment and dispatch 21

22 Conclusions (2) " Most of the challenges of transitioning to a low carbon electricity sector in China are institutional; the sector has, in some ways, been set up around coal " Many problems are legacies from planned economy that have grown cumulatively more challenging to fix; changes will require difficult adjustments in political economy " Most important contribution from California state agencies could be in changing discourse (e.g., what are key problems, what are tools for analyzing them, and what might solutions be?) and setting expectations (i.e., California will proceed with AB32) 22

23 ADDITIONAL SLIDES 23

24 High spinning reserve levels Figure: Spinning Reserve Levels by Province, 2011 Spinning reserves % peak generator load Qinghai Hainan Guangxi Jilin Hunan Liaoning Sichuan Guizhou Ningxia Fujian Anhui Xinjiang Gansu Shaanxi Hubei Shanghai Beijing Zhejiang Shandong Jiangxi Jiangsu Tianjin Hebei Inner Mongolia Chongqing Heilongjiang Shanxi Guangdong Yunnan Henan

25 Friendship Road, 1988 Friendship Road, 2007

26 Heavy industry dominates industrial load 100% 90% ResidenIal (11%) Residential 80% Commercial (12%) Commercial Agriculture 70% Construction 60% Light Industry (15%) Light Industry Other Heavy Industry 50% 40% 30% Big 4 (29%) Heavy Industry (41%) Building Materials and Other Non-Metal Products Non-Ferrous Metals Refining and Pressing Industrial Chemicals 20% Ferrous Metals Refining and Pressing Line Losses 10% Own use (14%) Electric Own 0%

27 Average Retail Electricity Rates in China and the U.S. by Province/State (ranked lowest to highest), State / Provincial Average Electricity Rates (yuan/ 10^3 kwh) State or Province Number (ranked from lowest to highest rate) China U.S. China Average U.S. Average

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