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Address at the 2006 International Conference of UHV Transmission Technology
Liu Zhengya President of SGCC

Publication Date:2006-11-29      click:

(Nov 28th , 2006)

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Today, more than 350 representatives from 19 countries and regions gather together in Beijing to discuss UHV power transmission technology. First, on behalf of State Grid Corporation of China, I extend my warm welcomes and sincere appreciation to the leaders, representatives and friends from press circle.

Energy is the material base for human survival and development and the issue of energy sources gradually has become the focus of the international society concern as well as the key point of international communication and cooperation. Today we hold this conference to have in-depth discussion on UHV power transmission technology, a pioneering technology in the energy sector. This will promote the sustainable development of China¡¯s electric power and energy industry. Moreover, it will also have an active and far-reaching influence on the innovation of global electric power technology and construction of energy ensurance system.

Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of electric power industry. Ever since the carrying out of the reform and opening up policy, Chinese electric power industry made great achievements along with the continuous and rapid development of Chinese economy. By the end of October, 2006, the total installed capacity has reached 580 GW with growth rate of 18.4% compared with the same period of last year. The power transmission line of 110 kV and above reached 626,000 kilometers with transforming capacity of 1510 GVA, which grow at 22.7% and 20.8% respectively compared with the same period of last year. China has become a big consumer as well as a big producer of electricity.

With the investment, construction and operation of the power grid as the core business, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is one of the main energy suppliers in China. We take it as our responsibility that ¡®provide clean electric power, promote the economic development and serve the social harmony¡¯, set the goal of building world class grid and utility and establishing the company with strong grid, excellent asset, service and performance. In light of the objective rule of electric power development and based upon China¡¯s national situation while taking the reference of overseas experience, we brought forward a strategy of building UHV power grid to promote the intensive development of large coal fired power, hydropower and nuclear power base and optimize the allocation of natural resources. The strategy has been paid high attention and strongly supported by Chinese government and various circles of society. In August 2006, we commenced the first experimental demonstration HUV AC project. The UHV transmission technology has attracted more and more worldwide attention. All of these have set up a good foundation for the successful convening of today¡¯s conference. Taking this opportunity, I¡¯d like to share with you the following three aspects:

I. The UHV power transmission is necessary in Chinese electric power development

From 1960s, the United States, the former Soviet Union, Japan and Italy started the research and development of UHV power transmission technology. The former Soviet Union built a 1150 kV UHV AC line with 2362 kilometers. Italy and Japan built the UHV demonstration projects successively. The international experience showed that there were no insurmountable obstacles in developing the UHV power transmission and its application has been well prepared.

China¡¯s research of UHV transmission technology started from 1980s. Significant research achievements have been made after 20 years¡¯ effort. The research has shown that the development of the UHV power transmission is the inevitable choice for China¡¯s development in electric power industry.

First, it is necessary to develop the UHV transmission for a stable, economical, clean and safe energy supply system,

China is now in a critical period to build the well-off society and socialism harmonious society. The industrialization and urbanization keep speeding up and the demand for electric power keeps growing. According to the national economic and social development plan, it is predicted that by 2010 the overall electricity consumption will reach 3800 TWh and by 2020 this figure will have become 6100 TWh. Therefore it is a big challenge to ensure the safe and reliable supply of the electric power.

The basic characteristics of Chinese energy resources are: the oil and gas are limited while the coal and hydro resources are rich. The distribution of energy production and consumption is imbalance. The proven amount of the coal resource is over 1000 billion tons among which more than 2/3 are in north and northwest China. The exploitable capacity of hydro resource is over 400 GW among which more than 3/4 are in southwest region. However, more than 2/3 energy demand is in the relative developed central and eastern region. The important energy bases are always 800-3000 kilometers away from the load center. Because of the high pressure on environment protection, high cost of transportation and limited land resources, the east region is no longer suitable for the building of large-scale coal power plant. To meet the continuous increasing demand for electricity, it is necessary to optimize the energy resources allocation nationwide and transmit power in a trans-region, cross-drainage area, long distance and large scale manner by the construction of strong electric grid. Because of insufficient ability in power transmission and short circuit current exceeds the breaking capability of circuit breaker; the present 500 kV grid is hard to meet the future development needs. Therefore it is urgent to develop a UHV electric grid with strong ability for resources allocation and build an electric power highway.

Second, it is necessary to develop UHV power transmission for coordinated development of electric power industry.

Because of the insufficient long-term investment, power grid development in China lagged behind resulted in a very weak grid structure. The ability of grid to optimize the resources allocation cannot be brought into play. Its ability to resist accidents and risks is not strong; and the risk of large area blackout always exists. In recent years, electricity generation construction was further speeded up. With the development of the economic society, it is predicted that in 2020, there will be a need for nation wide installed capacity of 1300 GW, which is 800 GW more than that of 2005. To realize this large scale power transmission, it will be a huge challenge to speed up the development of power grid. However, the construction of the UHV grid, namely 1000 kV AC and ¡À 800 kV DC, can effectively solve the safety and stability problems caused by the present insufficient ability of 500 kV grid, optimize the layout of electric power and obviously improve the safe and reliable operation.

Third, UHV transmission has obvious advantages.

Compared with 500 kV grids, the UHV transmission could increase the transmission capacity and the economic power transmission distance. Moreover, it has obvious advantages in reducing the power loss, reducing the land occupation of the line and saving the project investment, etc. The natural transmission capacity of the 1000kV AC line is about 5 times of the 500 kV line, but at the same conditions, the resistance loss of the 1000kV AC line is only 1/4 of the 500 kV AC, the corridor width of unit transmission capacity is only 1/3 of the 500 kV and the overall cost of unit transmission capacity of the 1000 kV is less than 3/4 of the 500 kV.

China is broad in land and imbalance in the economic development between different regions; however the complementary ability of the power load between different regions is very strong. The development of the UHV transmission and strengthening of the inter-regional connection is beneficial for reducing the system reserve capacity and achieving the overall benefits like capacity sharing of hydro and thermal, cross drainage compensation, and peak load shedding as well as reducing new generation facilities. It is also beneficial for promoting the grand development of west China and transforming the resources advantage to economic advantage so as to realize the regional economic coordinated development. Besides, the development of the UHV transmission could promote the construction of large scale coal fired generation base and realize the transformation from coal to electricity on the spot. It could not only provide clean energy for eastern region and improve the environment quality, but also reduce the pollution caused by long distance transportation of coal and minimize the pollution emission in the coal fired generation base by means of centralized management and comprehensive utilization.

Forth, it is a significant innovation to develop UHV transmission.

The UHV transmission technology is the state-of-the-art technology in the world electric power technology field. The development of the UHV transmission is beneficial for the full play of the technology's leading role, for promoting the mature and enhancement of the UHV transmission technology, for realizing the upgrade of gird technology and for leading the technical innovations in the field of electric power and its related fields. Besides, the development of the UHV transmission technology is also beneficial for enhancing the utilities¡¯ innovation ability and promoting the construction of the electric power innovation system. Moreover, it also plays an active role in the theoretical innovation for electric power development and the innovations for electric power enterprises¡¯ management.

Fifth, the development of the UHV power transmission is beneficial for the promotion of equipment manufacturing development.

The construction of the UHV grid brings a huge market demand for UHV AC and DC equipment and thus creates a new development space for equipment manufacturing industry both at home and abroad. It will help the equipment manufacturing enterprises to take opportunities, strengthen the research and development of the equipment, achieve technology breakthrough and further expand in the fierce market competition.

In a word, the development of UHV transmission has obvious economic benefit and social benefit. It is in line with the requirement of economical development, clean development and safe development and is thus the inevitable road for the sustainable development of China¡¯s electric power industry.

II. The important progress has been achieved for the development of the UHV transmission.

Chinese government always supports the development of the UHV transmission. The R&D of the UHV transmission technology and equipment development has been put into the 2006-2010 national economic and social development program, the national middle and long term technology development program and the key task of nation¡¯s rejuvenating equipment manufacturing industry. In recent years, with the support of government, we organized more than 2000 academicians, experts and engineers from various consulting organizations, scientific research institutions, universities and engineering and equipment manufacturing organizations to make a in depth research and repeated evaluations on more than 100 key issues of UHV transmission technology. The academicians, experts and technologists also jointly tackled key problems in critical equipment research and development and made important innovations and progress in the following six aspects: 1. Made a systematic demonstration of the necessity and feasibility of UHV transmission and revealed the objective necessity of transformation for Chinese grid development pattern and large scale development of the UHV transmission. 2. Completed the critical technology research like over voltage and insulation coordination, electromagnetism environment etc which have laid foundation for UHV transmission technology application. 3. The 1000 kV AC pilot project was approved and the project design is completed. The whole project stepped into the implementation period. 4. The UHV equipment research was fully promoted. A whole technology specification was formed and conceptual design of the equipment was completed. Some key equipment like ceramic type circuit breaker, disconnector and so on were developed successfully. 5. The construction of UHV AC and DC test base and national simulation center was started to further improve the test research ability of UHV transmission technology. 6. The UHV grid plan was formed and a scheme was proposed to build the north, central and east China UHV AC synchronous electric grid and realize large capacity transmission with super long distance through UHV DC.

The opportunity to develop the UHV power transmission in China has become mature. At present, in the light to the goal of ¡®safe and reliable, advanced and applicable, economical and rational, environment friendly and first-class in world¡¯, we devote ourselves into the implementation of UHV AC pilot project and plan to put it into operation in 2009. The start of the pilot project is the prelude of the UHV grid. It is a new milestone in the history of Chinese electric power development and symbolizes that Chinese grid development has entered a new period.

Looking forward to the future, China's development of the UHV grid will take this pilot project as an opportunity and build a 1000 kV power transmission network in north China and central China which goes through from north to south and gradually develop into other regions. Near 2020, China will build a strong UHV AC synchronous electric grid that covers north China-central China ¨Ceast China, and build a southwest large hydropower base transmitted by ¡À800 UHV DC line so as to form a UHV AC and DC hybrid grid that connects the various power source bases and main load centers. By that time, the transmission capacity of the AC and DC hybrid system of UHV grid will be over 200 GW. The Chinese national grid will become a modern electric grid with rational structure, state of the art technology and powerful in resource allocation ability.

III. To strengthen international cooperation for promoting the more rapid and better development of China's UHV transmission.

Peace, development and cooperation are the theme of today¡¯s world. The development of the UHV transmission creates a valuable opportunity for international cooperation in energy sector. On the basis of win-win principle, we will continue to strengthen the international cooperation and bring the talents and technology advantages of every country into full play so as to tackle the key technical obstacles and promote the rapid development of UHV transmission technology. At the same time, we sincerely welcome different comments and suggestions, especially from those experts attending this conference for further scientific qualification and push the development of UHV transmission technology into a better way. The UHV transmission business not only belongs to China but also to the world. Here I¡¯d like to propose that we shall set up a communication mechanism for UHV transmission technology, share the experience and knowledge, promote the research and application of the UHV transmission technology and deal with the challenges faced by the sustainable development of electric power industry in the new century.

This conference also provides us a valuable opportunity to learn and take reference of the counterparts' advanced experience from various countries. We also expect that the enterprises from various countries could communicate and cooperate in every aspect, share the experience and make a joint progress.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

Beijing is the political, economic and culture center of China. It is the capital of China for 5 dynasties and thus enjoys a long history and profound culture background. Beijing has a unique view at the end of autumn and the beginning of winter. I sincerely wish every guest a pleasant stay in Beijing.

Wish the conference a complete success.

Thank you.

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