The State Council unveiled its 2011-15 five-year plan for energy development on after a two-year delay caused by uncertainty around nuclear power development after the Fukushima accident.

Higher Coal Target
The coal power generation target is 960GW by 2015 versus the China Electricity Council's previous forecast of 928GW. There has been a recent slowdown in coal power due to poor returns on projects and increases in renewables. China added 45GW of new coal power in 2012 and the China Electricity Council expects 40GW in 2013. To meet the new 2015 target would require a surge of 70GW per year in 2014 and 2015.

Utilization Falls
Comparing the latest generation and installed capacity targets, power sector average utilization would be 50%, below the already low level of 51.3% in 2012 and well below 53% in 2010 and 2011.

Lower Nuclear Target
Before the nuclear safety review was completed, expectations were for 60-80GW of nuclear capacity by 2015. The new target is 40GW by 2015, and there are to be no inland nuclear projects and safety with higher standards and technology requirements. All new nuclear is to use third-generation technology. By 2015, 18GW is expected to be under construction.

No New Target for Renewables

The official targets for wind at 100GW and solar at 21GW are unchanged, but for solar government officials' recent comments suggest the target may go higher.

Lower Capital Returns
If a big jump in new coal power occurs in 2014/15, as would be required to meet official targets, this is likely to increase IPPs' capital expenditure and put pressure on utilization hours.

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