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How Flexible Power Generation Can Support Jiangsu’s Power System, Lowering Emissions And Reducing Costs—Finland-China (Jiangsu) Smart Energy Seminar

Local press release 13 November 2020 at 06:30 UTC+2

At the seminar, China Energy Power Planning & Engineering Institute (EPPEI) shared the results of its power system modelling for the Jiangsu grid, showing how to build an optimal path to the large-scale integration of renewables, while maintaining system stability and reliability. This power system modelling demonstrated why flexible balancing capacity is needed, not only to integrate renewables, but also to lower CO2 emissions and help decrease overall power system costs.

Wärtsilä Energy presented its white paper on Power System Optimisation and explained how flexible technologies, such as gas-based internal combustion engine (ICE) power plants, can provide the rapid response needed to balance intermittent and fluctuating generation, and ensure the grid continues to deliver a stable and reliable service.

China’s energy transition

On 30 September 2020, President Xi Jinping announced China’s commitment to having CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060. Through its transition away from coal consumption and fossil-based energy production, China is becoming a global leader in renewable energy (RE) production and clean energy innovation. By the end of 2019, the cumulative installed capacity of RE in China had reached 790 GW.

Jiangsu province is a major economic hub and in recent years has been at the forefront of RE utilisation in China. It is estimated that in 2020, both installed solar PV and wind power capacity will reach 15 GW.

Joint study on the Jiangsu power system

Based on the bilateral energy cooperation between China and Finland, EPPEI and Wärtsilä jointly launched the study “Enhancing Power System Flexibility: Finnish Experience and Application in Jiangsu”.

“We see great potential for cooperation in the energy sector between Finland and China,” says Pasi Hellman, Consul General of Finland in Shanghai. “Reaching China's ambitious target of carbon neutrality by 2060 will require much collaboration and innovation.”

The power system modelling used in the study demonstrates how flexible capacity is needed to integrate renewables, provide peak regulation, and ensure system reliability. This includes multiple flexible power solutions, such as gas-based ICE power plants and battery energy storage. The study also indicates that a higher share of RE will bring aggregate cost-savings of nearly 64 billion CNY to the Jiangsu power system and reduce total carbon emissions by more than 25% by 2030.

“The accelerated uptake of variable renewable energy in Jiangsu province highlights the importance of power system flexibility,” says Wang Shunchao, Director of International cooperation Division, EPPEI. “Flexibility options such as demand side response, energy storage, and ICE will create more space for renewable energy, and also provide sizable economic, environmental, and operational benefits for Jiangsu's power system.”

Improving power system stability by increasing flexibility

The findings from the EPPEI study were complemented by Wärtsilä’s white paper on power systems optimisation titled “The path towards a future of high renewable energy in Jiangsu, China”. According to the white paper, to effectively satisfy the increasing demand for power while also improving power system reliability, the following actions should be taken:

·        Building and integrating large-scale RE capacity into the power system to enable lower system costs and more sustainable energy generation

·        Maintaining and increasing the flexibility of remaining coal-fired plants in line with the reduction/equal-coal policy

·        Adding flexible power generation solutions for integrating renewables and grid balancing, including efficient gas-fired ICE power plants and battery energy storage

The faster ramp-up and ramp-down rate of ICE power plants will enable the power system to meet the need for short-term rapid response when the energy supply does not match demand. According to the white paper, the proportion of wind and solar power generation will increase from 4% to up to 30% by 2030.

“The efficiency and flexibility of ICE power plants allow the system to quickly meet the need for short-term rapid response when integrating renewables, without compromising the reliability and stability of the power system,” says Rhonin Zhou, Market Development Manager, Wärtsilä Energy.

The future of decarbonisation in China

China can accelerate its deployment of renewables and meet its carbon neutrality goals by developing sufficient flexibility to ensure grid stability. Wärtsilä’s flexible ICE power plants and battery storage solutions can play an important role by filling any gap in power supply and providing peak regulation, thereby reducing the dependence on coal and, as a result, lowering CO2 emission levels.

Eventually, ICE power plants can switch to using synthetic fuels to further contribute to the 2060 carbon neutrality target, while supporting China’s power system which is key to the nation’s strong economic growth.


Press contact:

Rhonin Zhou
Market Development Manager
Wärtsilä Energy

Michael Li
Senior Business Development Manager
Wärtsilä Energy

Ashley Wang
Communication Manager
Wärtsilä China

Gu Xue
Senior Associate
North Head 


Wärtsilä Energy Business in brief  
Wärtsilä Energy Business leads the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers unlock the value of the energy transition by optimising their energy systems and future-proofing their assets. Our offering comprises flexible power plants, energy management systems, and storage, as well as lifecycle services that ensure increased efficiency and guaranteed performance. Wärtsilä has delivered 72 GW of power plant capacity in 180 countries around the world. 

Wärtsilä has been present in China since 1986 and established a strong footprint through its fully owned subsidiaries and joint ventures. Wärtsilä China Ltd. has headquarters in Shanghai and manufacturing facilities in Shanghai, Wuxi, Suzhou and Zhenjiang.

Wärtsilä in brief 
Wärtsilä is a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation, total efficiency and data analytics, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2019, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 5.2 billion with approximately 19,000 employees. The company has operations in over 200 locations in more than 80 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.