Monday, October 18, 2010

China is serious about wind energy

China is struggling to find the balance between their economic development and environmental goals. Last year it has reported widely that one new coal plant is being built somewhere in China each month. According to recent reports China is now erecting on average one new wind turbine every day. That's still an unbalanced equation, but the trend is headed in the right direction. (GW)

China Surpasses U.S. in Wind Power Capacity

By Zhanf Ruidan
Caixin Online
October 14, 2010

By mid-2010, China's wind power capacity has exceeded 2020 energy targets set by Chinese policymakers

(Beijing) -- China has replaced the United States to become the world's top nation in wind power growth in 2009, increasing capacity by adding another 13.8 million kilowatts, according to a recent research report.

A joint report released by Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) on October 13 said that in 2009, the total for newly-added wind power capacity worldwide hit 158 million kws, in which China accounted for 13.8 million kws.

According to the report, by mid-2010, China's wind power capacity has reached 30 million kw, fulfilling the country's energy policy targets for 2020 in advance. The report predicted that over the next ten years, China's wind power capacity will grow by nine times from the current level to generate 464.9 billion kwhs of electricity every year.

The report also expected China's offshore wind power generation capacity to reach 32.8 million kws by 2020.

China has seen its wind power capacity doubled for four consecutive years and the growth has remained robust despite the global financial crisis. "In 2010, one of every three newly-added wind power generation units in the world is in China," said Steve Sawyer, chairman of GWEC.

According to Li Junfeng, Deputy Director of the Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission, China has been actively constructing seven wind power bases which will have a capacity of more than 10 million kws each. By the end of last year, 24 out of China's 34 provincial level districts had built wind farms.

However, in an earlier interview with Caixin, Sawyer warned that China's wind power industry has been facing a major bottleneck for wind generated electricity to get on the grid.

The report suggested that China should establish an efficient mechanism to encourage consumption of wind power, set a realistic development strategy, figure out the cost allocation for the transmission of wind power, as well as overcome various technological obstacles.

The report also noted that Chinese wind power equipment manufacturers are facing tests to guarantee and improve the quality of equipment.

The report described China's wind power development policies as successful but called for more detailed measures for encourage and coordinate different stakeholders.

On the issue of overcapacity, Sawyer said, "China may also face the challenge, but the consumption capacity of the Chinese market is quite high. As renewable energy currently only accounts for a little part of the country's energy consumption, the overcapacity issue will be solved as soon as the technology problems in transmission are settled," said Sawyer.


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