China’s wind power to see steady growth




China's newly-installed wind power capacity will see growth of 15 to 18 gigawatts this year, after the country became the world's leading wind power producer in 2009.
 

China Wind Energy Outlook, jointly released by the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace, forecast that China's wind power sector will maintain the steady growth momentum seen last year.

“After years of speedy striding, China’s wind power market is now moving ahead steadily and unwaveringly,” said Li Junfeng, Secretary General of CREIA. “If everything goes well, wind power has the potential to make a prominent presence in China’s energy portfolio and play a key role in saving China from the water crisis, air pollution and massive GHG emissions caused by a reliance on coal.”

The annual industry analysis predicts that China’s installed wind power capacity will be between 200 and 300 GW by 2020 and over 400 GW by 2030; by that time, wind power will make up about 8.4% of China’s total electricity generation, and 15% of China’s installed capacity. Retrospectively, it estimates that in 2011 China’s wind energy sector generated 71.5 billion kilowatt hours, making up 1.5% of the national total electricity output and reducing CO2 emissions by about 70 million tons.

“There is every reason that China should support wind power: resources are abundant, production costs are lowering, and the technology is maturing, all of which make commercial development very promising,” said Li Yan, head of the climate and energy campaign of Greenpeace East Asia.

After years of development in the country’s north, northestern and northwestern areas, where wind resources are abundant but power consumption is relatively low, wind power is also proliferating in the non-traditional market. “Eastern and Southen China are accelerating their steps, a diversified development pattern is taking shape”.

According to the report, non-traditional markets such as Guangxi, Guizhou, Shaanxi, Henan, Tianjin, Yunnan, Anhui have all seen two-fold capacity growth in 2011. Meanwhile, Shandong, Jiangsu, Guangdong, and Fujian surpassed their 1 GW milestone, becoming an increasingly promising market.

Li Yan points out that the report attributes bad connectivity to the grid and curtailment as the major hurdles to the development of wind power in China in 2011 – at least 5 billion yuan, or half of the accumulated profits of the sector, were lost due to curtailment.

“An effective mechanism must be in place to clearly identify grid’s responsibilities and effectively minimize curtailment of wind-generated electricity,” added Li Junfeng of CREIA.

“Globally speaking, Asia will become the world’s biggest wind power market, topping Europe and North America,” says Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council. “Apart from China being the world leader, other Asian countries such as India, Japan and South Korea will also see a booming wind power sector in the coming five years.”

English version of the report will soon be available from GWEC.