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China’s Wind Electricity Development Ranks Number One in Asia

Peking University, Beijing, June 1, 2010: In 2008, newly installed wind power capacity in China reached 7.19 million kilowatts, and the growth rate of newly installed capacity is as high as 108%. This is the fourth successive year in which the annual newly installed capacity doubles the previous one. The total installed capacity in our country now arrives at thirteen million kilowatts (one of the top ten countries in the world), which fulfills, two years ahead of schedule, our goal of reaching ten million kilowatts in 2010. China has become a leading country in terms of wind electricity, ranking number one in Asia and number four in the world, as one of the big developers of renewable energy.

 

The wind energy resources are abundant in our country, where the deposit of exploitable wind energy approximates to a billion kilowatts (the ratio of the deposit in land to in sea is about one to three). Although we have a late start in the wind power industry, it develops very rapidly with the gradual maturity and improvement of technology, and therefore profitability. Until the end of 2008, there have been altogether twelve provinces that have installed wind power hardware and each have a total production of over 200,000 kilowatts, among which four provinces, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Inner Mongolia and Hebei, exceed a million kilowatts. Meanwhile, we began to establish wind electricity bases of the capacity level of 10 million kilowatts, and the first one of these bases is in Jiuquan, Gansu. Another base to be on the coast of Jiangsu is already on the agenda and provinces such as Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Hebei are active in preparing to build their wind power bases. At the beginning of 2009, as many as 25 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions have been equipped with wind power installations.

 

The increasingly big wind-power market greatly encourages the development of the national manufacturing of wind power installations and their parts. There are more than 70 manufacturers producing the installations in our country, with over 50 manufacturers producing the blades, about 20 for the generators, over 10 for the converters, and about 100 for the tower tubes. At present, a percentage of domestic productions are beginning to enter the international market, especially those of the parts. It is estimated that China will become the leading country of the manufacturing of wind-power equipment in the world.

 

In spite of the abundant wind energy resources and the rapid development of wind electricity, the wind power industry of our country is still faced with serious challenges. In addition to the disadvantage that our development depends on the core technology of other countries, which has been mentioned above, we still have many other difficulties and problems to study and solve. The first important one is that of the national grid. In 2008, the wind power equipment we have installed could have generated ten million kilowatts electricity, but actually it only generated eight million kilowatts, with 20% waste rate. The main problem of this low efficiency lies in the time lag of the design and construction of regular grid, and the backwardness of the technology for controlling the grid of wind power, which cause a conflicting situation, just like a traffic jam caused by too many vehicles on a narrow lane. Another problem we are facing is that we are backward in the investigation, evaluation, and industry planning of the wind energy resources; the manufacturing industries in our country are rather scattered, which leads to the lack of integration and the insufficiency of R & D. All these factors result in the lack of overall layout of wind power industry at national level. The third problem is with regard to the high cost of wind electricity. Currently, the cost of wind electricity is 0.2 Yuan higher than that of thermal power, which dampens the enthusiasm of electric enterprises. What is more, the policy environment for the development of wind power need to be improved, and the government should offer more encouragement to the industry in terms of expenditure taxes, and technology research.

 

Translated by: Pan Huanming

Edited by: Jennifer Yan

Source: PKU News (Chinese)