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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wind energy in China

Wind energy in China

Dr J D Bapat

China more than doubled its wind power capacity in 2008, installing 4.66 GW of additional capacity and surpassing the government's 10GW target two years ahead of schedule. China's wind power industry is dominated by the 'big five' state-owned electric power companies.

The impressive growth, widely projected by observers, was driven by an 88.10% year-on-year increase in capital investment. The increase reflects the success of China's policies to promote renewable energy, which includes the mandated target of 10GW by 2010 and a renewable portfolio standard that requires "non-hydro renewables" to account for 3% of the installed capacity of large power companies by 2010, and 8% by 2020.

China's central economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), has also set a target for 30GW of wind power capacity by 2020. But last year's growth has observers projecting the industry outstripping the 2020 mark a decade sooner. The Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association unofficially projects that 25-30GW of wind power capacity will be installed by the end of 2010.

There is some concern by NDRC that wind power is growing too fast, so maybe they will use the "low target" as a way to emphasise the sustainable development of the sector and quality control.

Rapid growth has led to high incidence of wind turbine unreliability and underperforming installations. The industry is addressing the problem by doing more and more innovation and testing before installation. About 20% of installed wind power capacity is not currently connected to the grid.

Source: Environmental Finance magazine, 15 January 2009.
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