China Southern Power Grid plans to step up investment in smart grid construction in the Pearl River Delta region in the upcoming years, to continuously improve clean energy installation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The Guangzhou-based State-owned enterprise will invest more than 170 billion yuan ($25.3 billion) from 2018 to 2022 to improve disaster prevention capacity of power grids in the region, which is frequently hit by natural disasters including typhoons, Xu Daming, a spokesperson for the company, told a news conference in Beijing on Monday.
The company will also ensure central urban areas in Guangzhou and Shenzhen will have power outages of less than 30 minutes each year, while other cities such as Zhuhai and Zhongshan have power cuts of less than one hour annually.
Xu said the company will continuously boost investment in scientific research and development, while investing more than 20 billion yuan during the 2018-22 period, mostly in the fields of clean energy, direct-current transmission, distributed micro grid, engineering centers and laboratories on energy storage and superconductivity.
According to the company, total electricity consumption in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area reached 520 billion kilowatts in 2018, with per capita power consumption exceeding that of Germany.
It is expected that total electricity consumption in the region will reach 700 billion kilowatts by 2035, a 40 percent increase year-on-year.
Energy demand in the region will also see an increase in the proportion of clean energy to ensure a more optimized energy mix. The installed capacity for clean energy in the region is expected to reach 80 percent by 2035, it said.
According to Joseph Jacobelli, an independent Asia energy analyst based in Hong Kong, China should have one of the world's most sophisticated smart grids in the coming five years.
"The smart economy is a key area of government focus and thus support and there have been massive investments in the sector, including research, by China's grid companies in the past decade or longer," he said.
"Technology companies in the nation are also getting on the bandwagon of developing digital solutions for the energy industry, which means great advances in such areas as demand management, as well as energy efficiency and conservation, driven by AI, IoT and blockchain solutions."
The company said it will continuously push forward the construction of the Kunliulong direct current transmission line project, aiming to provide some five million kilowatts of hydropower from Yunnan province to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area after it is completed in 2021, which is expected to reduce coal consumption in the region by 6 million metric tons and carbon dioxide emissions by 16 million tons, it said.