China mulls to switch over to solar photovoltaics to scale down N-power

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China downsizing nuclear plants.

China is seriously considering to down size its massive expansion plan of nuclear plants in view of radiation crisis created by ruptured Japanese nuclear reactors and weighed option to double the target capacity of solar photovoltaics (PV) to meet future power requirements.

China, world’s largest PV producer, is seriously considering to increase the five year target for PV industry capacity from five gigawatts (GW) to 10 GW, state-run Xinhua quoted Shi Lishan, deputy director of the renewable energy department of the National Energy Administration (NEA) as saying on Wednesday.

China’s PV production hit about 4000 MW last year, with majority of products sold overseas.

Shi’s comments came amid reports that China may fine tune its nuclear power development plan as the nuclear leak crisis in Japan has triggered security concerns.

The revision is very likely to be approved although it is still under discussion, given the backdrop of Japan’s nuclear crisis, Wednesday issue of the state-run China Securities Journal reported.

China at present has 13 nuclear reactors and approved construction of 10 more mega nuclear reactors in addition to 25 currently being built to step up its nuclear power generation capacity to 86 GW by 2020 with a massive investment of $121.5 billion.

According to China Nuclear Energy Association, China plans to build more than 60 reactors by 2020 by that time nuclear power will account for five per cent of the 15 per cent power generation from renewable sources.

But now China plans to scale back its nuclear power projection to around three per cent, Sun Qin, the head of the China’s nuclear plant operator, China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) said.

Qin said there will be no changes in its plans to build more plants due Japanese radiation crisis, though safety standards will be beefed up.

On March 16, Chinese Cabinet decided to halt new approvals of nuclear projects following crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant.

After this, China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration ordered existing facilities to begin safety checks.

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