One very promising approach for China to build energy conservation into its infrastructure is the construction of a "smart grid."
The "smart grid" is the merging of electricity infrastructure with information technology. The purpose is to add monitoring, analysis, control and communication capabilities to any national electrical delivery system to maximize efficiency while reducing energy consumption. Creating a unified power grid and upgrading aging power systems will increase productivity, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase national security.
The Need for a "Smart Grid" in China
The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the Southern Power Grid Corporation and the Eastern China Grid Corporation are among China's transmission companies. The largest utility in the world, SGCC serves 26 provinces and 1.08 billion people with a peak load of 343 gigawatts (GW) and total investment in grid construction valued at US $31.8 billion in 2007. China's second largest utility, China Southern Power Grid, is ranked 226th in Fortune Magazine's Global 500 listing with revenues exceeding US $30 billion.
Throughout China, the existing regional grids have weak interconnections between provinces and largely non-existent interconnections between grids. In order to solve this deficiency, the Chinese government has plans to create a unified national power grid network by 2020.
The Eastern China Grid Corporation initiated a feasibility study of "smart grid" technology in October 2007. Shi Junqing, the General Manager of Eastern China Grid Corp. described the findings earlier this year. In terms of the large load on its grid, the assets that it has built into its system, the necessity of continuing to build out the network and the increasing environmental, safety, reliability and efficiency pressures that it faces, Eastern China Grid Corp. believes that the conditions are now ripe for it to put in place a smart grid system; to that end the company has established a goal of gradually putting in place the elements of a "smart grid" over the coming years.
I do believe the stimulus pkg they are looking at for the US is also primarily for infrastructure improvements and Obumer says he wants to see transmission grid improvements and wind energy ---- maybe they will link to the energy bill with its incentives to use HTLS transmission wire - ie ACCC -- can't really imagine congress thinking that deep though....