By Karen Gillett/ReutersIn the months leading up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, there were concerns that Beijing’s electricity network would be hit hard by a severe winter that would cut power in many areas.
The impact on the Olympics would be far worse than many expected, said Andrew Macquarie, the chief executive of electricity retailer BE Energy.
Beijing’s power grid, which covers a staggering 8,000 kilometres (5,200 miles), is expected to be more than 100 per cent reliant on solar, wind and hydro, he said.
Electricity is also the primary source of heat in many of Beijing’s hot, crowded residential areas.
Beating the heat with renewables could help China cope with the massive temperatures and humidity in the capital, where temperatures in Beijing have risen to record highs.
Solar power has been in decline for some time, but the new solar power capacity has been growing rapidly in recent years.
BE Energy also has plans to install 400 megawatts of new rooftop solar, and has plans for more than 3,000 megawatts, or 2.4 gigawatts, of battery storage, Mr Macquary said.
“There is definitely a lot of opportunity in the market for this to be the big jump in battery storage,” he said, adding that solar panels are also a way to boost renewable energy production in China.
China’s biggest energy firms are also ramping up their investment in batteries, with one of China’s largest battery maker, Jiangsu Electric Power Co, pledging to invest $400 million ($408 million) over the next two years to develop its batteries.
But China has also seen a decline in battery manufacturing.
In 2016, China’s manufacturing output fell for the first time since the 1980s, as demand from consumers and businesses declined.
“The industry is actually getting more competitive, and there is less investment in the technology,” said Andrew McQuarie, chief executive at BE Energy in the US.
He said the company was also looking to invest in batteries for the next Olympics.
Some experts predict the 2020 Games could be one of the biggest sporting events in China’s history.
The 2020 Olympics will take place in the centre of the country, near the epicentre of the nation’s three major industries: manufacturing, transport and energy.
While the Olympics will be a massive undertaking, there is still plenty of opportunity for Chinese athletes to take advantage of their experience in the world’s most populous nation.
Chinese athletes, including the Beijing Marathon runners, are already preparing for the Games, while athletes from countries around the world are also preparing for their debut.
And China’s state-owned companies are keen to expand their investment capacity.
There is also a new Chinese government policy called the National People’s Policy (NPP), which aims to expand and strengthen the economy, according to the Xinhua news agency.
However, the government’s push to increase the nations economic growth and ease the countrys economic woes is unlikely to change the course of the 2020 Summer Olympics.