Asian giant drives forward with wind roll-out

Today, the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao told delegates at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi that China is working "vigorously" to advance clean energy. He said that his country’s renewable energy share has topped 11 percent, much of which is being supplied by the 58 GW of wind capacity it now boasts after a major push in 2011.
Asian giant drives forward with wind roll-out

Wen Jiabao has used the World Future Energy Summit taking place this week to raise awareness of the extent to which China is boosting its renewable energy base. He told the summit today that renewable energy now accounted for 11.4 percent of China’s energy mix compared to 8.4 percent in 2010.

This progress puts China on course to fulfil its ambitious five-year energy plan and is mainly a consequence of the country investing heavily in new hydropower (it currently has 200 GW making it the planet's largest producer of hydroelectric power), wind energy (47 GW installed in 2011 alone) and solar power (3 GW added over the past 12 months).

China is the world's fastest growing renewable energy market and, according to recent news, it appears it has no intention of easing off. According to the official Xinhua news agency, Liu Tienan, China’s Minister of the National Energy Bureau (NEB), says that the country will soon commence the second-batch of wind power projects for 2011-2015 this year. The first group of wind power projects for 2011-2015 was announced in August 2011, representing a total installed capacity of 28.83 million KW.

Despite wind energy capacity rising significantly in 2011, its wind generators did not, however meet, last year’s targets set by the Government. Poor transmission infrastructure meant that most of the wind energy generated by China’s wind farms failed to reach the country's power grid, Shi Lishan, Deputy Director of the NEB’s New and Renewable Energy Department told Xinhua.

The NEB is now considering strengthening and extending its power grid to provide greater access to wind power, as well as developing large-scale energy storage facilities, Shi said.

By 2015, China will have approximately 100 million KW of installed wind power capacity connected to its power grid and generate 190 billion kwh of electric power per annum, according to the NEB's renewable energy development plan. Xinau reveals that the NEB is considering establishing benchmark feed-in tariffs for wind power-generated electricity as the country pushes hard to ramp up its offshore sector.

This month it was also announced that China is to build a 300-MW wind farm in the Bohai Sea. The facility will be the country’s largest and is designed to serve as a demonstration project for 3MW turbines.

China has only installed and connected around 200 MW of offshore wind capacity to date, but has set a target for 5 GW by 2015, increasing to 30 GW by 2020. According to the 4C Offshore website, at 15 January it had 1,658 MW of offshore capacity under construction.

[Image: Courtesy of Wind Currents]

For additional information:

4C Offshore

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