Every day, a new piece of evidence falls in place, showing how fast China is developing its power generation capability.
Meanwhile we limp along strangled by unnecessary environmental regulations and hysteria about global warming.
Take, for example, a report that China can build new nuclear power plants for $1,500 per KW, while it costs us $4,000 per KW, and climbing.
China has 24 new nuclear plants under construction, while we have only one under construction.
Compare how China is using coal to generate electricity.
China is building dozens of ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants, while we are building only one.
And, adding injury to insult, the Arkansas Chief Justice ruled that ultra-supercritical coal fired power plants are experimental. He wouldn’t allow Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s (SWEPCO’s) 600-MW John W. Turk Jr. power plant to sell electricity in Arkansas.
Perhaps most telling of all was the recent announcement that China has sold power generation equipment to India.
Until now, companies such as General Electric had the competitive advantage when selling steam turbines.
China recently captured a $10 billion order for steam turbines form the Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA Group.
Can gas turbines be far behind?
Dongfang Turbine Co. LTD, claims to make gas turbine generator sets as large as GE’s. Dongfang recently shipped a large gas turbine generator to Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
Power generation equipment had been one of the last remaining areas where the United States had a technological advantage, now that advantage is evaporating.
China is also developing the world’s most sophisticated grid. It has a long way to go, but the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is utilizing ultra high voltage (1000 kV AC and 800 kV DC) transmission. We have difficulty building new transmission lines for fear of hurting habitat or cutting down trees to make way for the transmission lines.
There is no question that China, with its huge population, needs to develop its ability to build power plants and distribute electricity.
Forty years ago there was concern that Japan would leave us in the dust. It was thought that the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) could exercise top down control over the Japanese economy. That didn’t happen: We recognized the challenge and fought back, and Japan’s economy, for a variety of reasons, stumbled.
Now, some are saying that China’s top down control will result in advances that we can’t make with a true market based economy. But that doesn’t have to be the case, and we shouldn’t give up our freedoms for fear of losing to China.
We can’t rely on the Chinese economy stumbling in order for the United States to remain competitive and improve job opportunities.
We need to recognize the challenge, and set aside nonsensical regulations, such as the EPA’s CO2 emission regulations, that hamper our ability to create jobs and compete with foreign countries.
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