Natural gas power generation projects become the new darling of the industry

Natural gas power generation looks beautiful, but in different places, the results of natural gas power generation may also be different.

At present, natural gas power generation is the fastest growing area of ​​natural gas consumption in the United States, and it is also a competing energy project across the country. According to institutional statistics, China's natural gas used for power generation last year was 28.8 billion cubic meters, and this year it will increase to 31.1 billion cubic meters.

However, in fact, the great development of natural gas power generation in the United States has a lot to do with the success of the shale gas revolution. The country’s current natural gas supply exceeds demand, the price is low, and there is a good soil for the development of natural gas power generation; on the other hand, China’s dependence on natural gas is increasing. Improve, domestic consumer prices are getting higher and higher. This can not help but question whether natural gas power generation has the potential for sustainable development in China.

Power generation industry new favorite

According to the data of the National Bureau of Statistics, the apparent consumption of natural gas in China in 2012 was 144.6 billion cubic meters. According to statistics made by Zhuochuang, in 2012, China's natural gas used for power generation was approximately 28.8 billion cubic meters. In other words, natural gas power generation accounts for nearly 20% of China's natural gas consumption.

In the U.S. natural gas consumption, electricity generation accounts for about 48%. This figure seems to have become a catch-up target in various parts of the country, and various local natural gas power generation projects have been launched.

For example, Jiangsu Province had previously issued a plan and it is expected that by 2015, the total natural gas supply in the province will reach 27 billion cubic meters, of which natural gas used in natural gas power plants will be 8.1 billion cubic meters, accounting for 30%.

Some energy central enterprises are also keen to invest in natural gas power generation projects. For example, CNOOC currently owns a total installed capacity of 4.8 million kilowatts of natural gas power generation, of which 3.63 million kilowatts are under control. In addition, there are some projects that are conducting nuclear/approval declarations. The traditional thermal power companies Huaneng, Huadian and other companies are also involved in the field of natural gas power generation, and new natural gas power generation projects have been established in Guangdong and Jiangsu.

Zhuochuang statistics show that as of the end of 2012, China has put into production of more than 50 natural gas power plants, with a total installed capacity of nearly 40GW. According to China's total installed power generation capacity of 1.147 billion kilowatts in 2012, natural gas power generation capacity of the total installed capacity The proportion is 3.5%.

The proportion of 3.5% is not high, but according to the current development trend, the proportion of natural gas power generation will continue to increase. According to Wang Xiaokun, an analyst at Zhuo Chuang, the country is actively increasing the share of natural gas in primary energy consumption, and natural gas will also replace coal to a greater proportion to become fuel for power generation. This year, the national natural gas consumption for power generation is expected to increase to 31.1 billion cubic meters this year. Meters, and by 2030, the amount of natural gas used for power generation may reach more than 150 billion cubic meters.

Cost problems to be solved

Based on China's natural gas development status and price mechanism, it is not easy to catch up with the scale of natural gas power generation in the United States. At the same time, with the continuous increase in natural gas prices in China, is the prosperity of the natural gas power generation industry just a beautiful bubble?

Han Xiaoping, vice president and chief information officer of China Energy Network, stated that China's development of natural gas power generation faces two major problems: First, the upstream monopoly of gas sources and the market is not open, and second, the price mechanism of natural gas and power generation industries is unreasonable.

“The monopoly of upstream development has led to monopoly of natural gas supply. It should open up the market, allow more business entities to participate in the development and production of natural gas, and form a diversified supply; at the same time, reform the price mechanism of natural gas and power generation industries, and now natural gas is comparable to coal power generation. A lot of expensive, but if you count the cost of the environment, the cost of coal power generation should be higher.” Han Xiaoping said that three years ago, natural gas power generation in Beijing would have to financially subsidize more than a billion yuan each year. Now, with the rise in gas prices, subsidies will surely increase. Taller.

According to Wang Xiaokun’s calculation, with a gas source price of 2.7 yuan/cubic meter, the corresponding power generation cost is about 0.8 yuan per degree, and the cost of coal power generation is only 0.3~0.4 yuan per degree. Natural gas power plants all over the country need financial subsidies to make up for it. Loss. Take Huaneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant as an example. In December 2011, the plant completed a 923,000 kilowatt-capacity "two-to-one" (2 gas turbines and 1 steam turbine) gas unit at a current cost of nearly 0.6 yuan/kWh. The part of the cost of generating electricity that exceeds the on-grid tariff is subsidized by Beijing's finances.

The industry insiders of the natural gas power generation industry are also worried about the current situation of domestic natural gas power generation losses. An insider of an energy central SOE frankly stated to this reporter: “Although our company has vigorously developed natural gas power generation, the core price issue has not been resolved in one day. Our projects have market risks. When we can survive without subsidies, It is the time for the truly healthy development of the natural gas power generation industry."

In fact, in the mature markets of Europe, there has been a reversal of coal-fired gas generation due to rising natural gas prices. With the increase in the price of natural gas, the average cost of coal power generation in Europe last year was 45% lower than that of natural gas, causing the European power generation industry to abandon natural gas and re-use coal to generate electricity.

According to Christopher Group chief economist Christophe. According to Ruhr, taking the five largest electricity markets in Europe as a whole, natural gas power generation in the region fell by 19% in 2012, while coal power generation increased by 12%. Overall, European natural gas consumption decreased by 2.3 in 2012. %, coal consumption increased by 3.4%.

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