The contradiction between coal and electricity is a prominent problem affecting China's economic life. Its manifestation can be summarized as "the rise of coal price, the lag of electricity price, the loss of power enterprises, the difficulty of price adjustment, and the recurrence". From the point of view of coal and electricity price adjustment, one of the most important solutions is to solve the contradiction between coal and electricity prices.
The status quo of coal electricity pool and its origin
China's coal power joint venture began in the 1950s and 1960s, and some small coal mine mouth power plants were arranged in the coal construction projects. In the 1970s, the coal industry began to form the development idea of comprehensive development of coal, electricity and road based on coal mine, and the development and operation mode of Datun coal and power company appeared. Since the reform and opening up, under the encouragement of national policies, many old mining areas have set up a number of small power plants in order to turn losses into profits. In March 1989, the State Council approved the implementation of the coal and power joint venture scheme proposed by the Ministry of energy, and pointed out that the joint operation of coal and power for low calorific value coal resources should be specially supported and promoted. During the "Eighth Five Year Plan" period, coal power joint venture has made certain development. Coal enterprises run 43 power plants with a total of 1.04 million kilowatts, accounting for 1.1% of the total installed capacity in China. From the perspective of the process of coal power joint venture, until 2002, coal power joint venture or coal power integration was mainly carried out by coal enterprises. Due to industry differences, it is difficult for electric power enterprises to obtain resource exploration right and mining right. In addition, many factors such as low price of power coal make it less active to enter the coal field.
At present, a variety of joint venture modes have emerged in China: Shenhua mode - coal enterprises holding and building power stations; Shanxi Coking Coal mode - coal enterprises building power stations; Luneng mode - electric power enterprises running coal mines; Yimin mode - coal and power integration, unified operation, centralized holding of electric power group; Huainan mode - coal and power enterprises cooperating to build new coal mines or power stations. The five power generation groups have also made great efforts to develop coal power joint venture with the help of abundant capital. The annual average growth rate of coal production capacity from 2010 to 2015 is nearly 30%, and the coal self-sufficiency rate in 2010 is 20%, and it can reach 40% in 2015.
On the whole, China's coal power joint venture shows the following characteristics: first, five power groups set up coal business platform to expand to the field of power coal production. Second, power generation enterprises take shares, hold shares or acquire coal mines. Third, power and coal enterprises enter the coal chemical industry and metallurgical industry. Fourth, power and coal enterprises participate in the construction of coal logistics. In recent years, large power generation groups and coal enterprises have accelerated their investment in railways, ports and shipping, and further build an integrated industrial chain of coal, electricity and transportation.
After the reform of electric power system in 2002, coal power joint venture has been accelerated. In the power system reform, five power generation groups have been set up, and competition mechanism has been introduced into the generation side. However, the on grid electricity price and sales price are still subject to government regulation. When the price of power coal rises with the market price, the cost pressure of power generation enterprises increases, and the "coal electricity linkage" policy is often not in place in time. In this context, coal power joint venture (or "coal power integration") has been supported and valued by the government and enterprises, and a lot of exploration has been carried out in practice.
The limitation of coal power joint operation in solving the contradiction between coal and electricity
Many views believe that the coal power joint venture can effectively solve the contradiction between coal and electricity. The main reason is that coal and power enterprises can establish a complementary and long-term mechanism of benefit sharing and risk sharing between coal enterprises and electric power enterprises, reduce unnecessary friction between coal and power plants, reduce operational risks caused by coal market price fluctuations, and help transform external risks into internal risks. Coal power joint venture is a clever combination of "plan" and "market", which may lead to several super large energy groups occupying the whole industry chain of coal, transportation and power. After the coal power joint venture, the power industry will be promoted by electricity, and the downstream industry will be supported by the profits of upstream products, so as to speed up the power enterprises to get out of the predicament. At the same time, it can also solve the problems such as low technical level, poor efficiency and serious pollution of self run small power plants in coal industry, and realize mutual promotion between upstream and downstream power generation.
Coal power joint venture will increase the operation risk of electric power enterprises. Both coal mining and power generation belong to precipitation investment, which requires a large amount of capital. Under the current situation that the assets and liabilities of power generation enterprises are already very high, it is undoubtedly more tense to invest in mining coal mines or engage in coal chemical industry, and the risk can not be underestimated.
Although these views have some truth, there are also deviations. In practice, it is necessary to restrict the advantages of coal-fired power pool. For some coal with poor quality, it is economic and feasible to use coal power joint venture. For example, lignite, with low calorific value, high moisture content and high ash content, is not suitable for long-distance transportation. It is better to use lignite as fuel for local thermal power plants, so it is more suitable for coal-fired power pool. Some enterprises that have realized the integration of upstream and downstream of coal power industry chain still maintain good benefits when the contradiction between coal and electricity is acute, but this is only a phenomenon of individual enterprises, and it is difficult to become the fundamental way to solve the contradiction between coal and electricity.
It is also easy to form a new monopoly by comprehensively carrying out coal power joint venture. Many electric power enterprises hope to copy the integration mode of Shenhua coal circuit port, which is not feasible at present. The direction of China's market-oriented reform is to introduce market mechanism in the field of basic industries, and the integration of coal circuit port is undoubtedly a new monopoly, and the comprehensive promotion of this mode will be a retrogression of market-oriented reform of coal, transport capacity and power industry.
Coal and power pool internalizes the external contradictions, and on the surface solves the problems of coal source and price fluctuation of some power generation enterprises. However, the power generation enterprises that have no conditions to carry out coal electricity joint venture still have to face the contradiction between coal and electricity. The comprehensive implementation of coal power joint venture will only intensify the competition and control of coal resources among power generation enterprises, but will not fundamentally solve the contradiction between coal enterprises and power generation enterprises.
It is against the direction of power system reform for power generation enterprises to run coal mines. The electric power system reform started in 2002 is to promote the specialized division of labor management, separate the power generation, transmission, distribution and sales, and also implement the separation of main and auxiliary, and the main and multiple. The promotion of coal power joint venture is to add new auxiliary business while the old auxiliary business and diversified business burden of electric power enterprises have not been removed. Coal mining and power generation are two completely different industries, production operations have no common characteristics, from the perspective of professional production to achieve maximum benefits, it is not suitable to engage in coal power integration.
Thoughts on resolving the contradiction between coal and electricity
On the surface, the contradiction between coal and electricity is a price game between coal enterprises and power enterprises. In essence, it is a systematic problem involving coal, electricity, transportation and government. From the perspective of the formation mechanism of the contradiction between coal and electricity, in the field of coal, the so-called "market coal" market mechanism is not complete, and it is still divided into two different markets: the key order contract transaction and the market procurement. In recent years, the local government has continuously introduced measures to limit production and protect price, which makes the power coal market lack of full competition, and the regulation effect of price on output is reduced. There are many kinds of taxes and fees on electric coal in various places, and the marketization degree of railway transportation capacity is low, which has become an important factor in the price increase of electric coal. In the power sector, the "planned electricity" has not been changed, and the on grid price and sales price are subject to administrative examination and approval, so the power enterprises can not ease the rising cost factors. In other words, coal is transported from the pit mouth to the power plant, and then the electricity is sent to the plug. In the whole industrial chain, the problem of government over regulation and industry monopoly is very prominent, and the price mechanism has not played its due regulatory role.
It is not necessary for the government to eliminate all kinds of coal and electricity taxes and fees, and the key is to eliminate the contradiction between coal and electricity. In particular, we should strengthen the supervision of monopoly industries, promote the open, fair and transparent trading of electricity and railway transport capacity, and mobilize the enthusiasm of coal production and power generation. In the long run, it is necessary to establish a national electricity and coal trading market, improve the power market dominated by regional power market, deepen the reform of railway system, and gradually separate the network transportation business of power grid and railway network from the marketing business of electricity and coal products, so as to form a price formation mechanism in which the coal price, electricity price and transportation price are determined by the market supply and demand relationship, so as to fundamentally solve the contradiction between coal and electricity.
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