China Wind Energy Outlook 2010
China’s Wind Power Projected to Equal 13 Three Gorges Dams by 2020
China’s wind power can reach 230 GW of installed capacity by 2020, which is equal to 13 times the current capacity of the Three Gorges Dam; its annual electricity output of 464.9 TWh could replace 200 coal fire power plants, according to China Wind Power Outlook 2010, a new report jointly released by Greenpeace, the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA), and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
In 2009, China led the world in newly installed wind-energy devices, reaching a capacity of 13.8 GW (10,129 turbines) – a rate of one new turbine every hour. In terms of overall capacity, China ranks second, at 25.8 GW.
The report projects that by 2020, China’s total wind power capacity will reach at least 150GW, possibly up to 230GW, which, if realized, could cut 410 million tons of CO2 emission, or 150 million tons of coal consumption.
Compared to multinationals, many Chinese companies are young and lack a strong basis for research and development. Despite a renewable energy policy requiring grid companies to purchase all electricity from wind farms, access to wind power for the grid is frequently lagging behind an unstable, out-dated grid infrastructure. There is also the problem of a lack of incentives and penalties for grid companies, and slow progress in more wind energy technologies.