China plans to open third-gen nuclear reactor in November

Business & Technology

We recently noted a Greenpeace report that suggested Chinese economic growth, unless radical measures are taken, is going to wreck the planet’s climate. Here’s the latest news about climate doomsday and the fight against it:

  • An AP1000 nuclear reactor will begin operations in November in Zhejiang Province, according to the China National Nuclear Power Corp, Reuters reports. The “third generation” reactor model is built to have “higher capacity, enhanced safety features and greater fuel efficiency,” and would be the first of its kind operating in the world.
  • China’s goal for nuclear is to reach a capacity of “58 gigawatts by the end of 2020 and have another 30 GW under construction.”
  • Another item on China’s energy agenda is solar roads. The New York Times reports (paywall) on Shandong Pavenergy, a company testing special plastic-coated panels intended to double as a highway surface.
  • Solar roads promise localized energy production, decreased land use, and improved road safety, but Pavenergy faces many potential roadblocks. The panels’ practical efficacy and cost-effectiveness won’t be known until trials are complete.
  • At the same time, however, the Chinese government has cut subsidies for solar panels, we noted last week. An official in the National Energy Administration insisted to Caixin (paywall) that the move is not aimed at “limiting solar development,” but rather to prevent market bubbles from overcapacity.
  • Beijing also is hopeful that natural gas can alleviate the country’s smog issues. Bloomberg reports, “Regulators are aiming to announce a decision before winter to combine oil and gas pipeline assets owned by its three state energy giants, worth as much as 500 billion yuan ($78 billion), under a new national operator.” While the plan could take over a year to implement, it would give natural gas a considerable boost in the Chinese market.
  • In other news, CATL, a Shenzhen company known as “the world’s biggest maker of electric-vehicle batteries,” is enjoying massive success on the energy storage front, according to Bloomberg (paywall). The firm’s stock soared the maximum rate of 10 percent, pushing a third shareholder’s net worth above $1 billion.