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China Windpower Capacity To Remain Tiny

July 3, 2015

By Paul Homewood


From PEI:

China’s installed wind capacity will treble from 115.6 GW this year to an estimated 347.2 GW by 2025, according to a new report.

However the study stresses that global windpower growth will begin to level off by 2015, with annual installations peaking at 56.8 GW in 2022.

The report from research GlobalData staes that China’s “windpower landscape in 2025 will be dominated by onshore capacity, which will account for 334.7 GW, representing just over 96 per cent of all installations, with offshore wind accounting for a mere 12.4 GW of installed capacity”

Sounds impressive doesn’t it, but as usual the devil is in the detail.

The latest available stats from China are for 2012, showing electricity generation as :

Capacity GW Generation TWh %
Nuclear 13 93 2
Fossil Fuel 819 3675 77
Hydro 249 854 18
Solar 7 6 0
Wind 61 96 2
Bio 8 44 1
Total 1174 4768,&syid=2007&eyid=2012&unit=BKWH

The extra wind capacity due to be added by 2025 would add in the region of 450 TWh, nominally raising wind generation from 2% to 11%.

However, China’s demand for electricity is also forecast to skyrocket, as their economy continues to grow. The EIA, for instance, are expecting it to nearly double in the next ten years.

This would effectively mean that wind power is only likely to be contributing about 5% to the grid, much of this in rural areas that have little access to power now.

Whatever else happens, don’t rely on wind power to drastically reduce emissions in China.

  1. Graeme No.3 permalink
    July 3, 2015 10:50 am

    Given that for each GW of capacity installed,
    Nuclear returns 7.2 TWh,
    Fossil fuels 4.5TWh,
    Hydro 3.4TWh
    and Wind 1.6TWh
    I think I know where most investment will go.

    The only hope for much increased wind capacity is for the Chinese Gov. to subsidise turbine production in order to capture export markets.

  2. July 3, 2015 12:00 pm

    Renewables globally, after fortunes being spent,
    In 2014, represented just 3 per cent.

  3. tom0mason permalink
    July 3, 2015 6:11 pm

    This is obviously a disaster for the home grown Chinese green blob, what they really need is an expert to visit and show them how to do it. To that end I recommend that Lord Deben (John Gummer) is assigned the task to visit the China to show them how real crony capitalism works.

  4. July 6, 2015 8:46 am

    Paul, Good sobering article, but your % figures in the table don’t add up to 100%. Nor does the capacities column add up to the total given. Any reason?

    • July 6, 2015 9:50 am

      Thanks David.

      Nuclear should have been 2%. I don’t know where I got the other figure from – must have been too much wine!!

      I’ve updated now


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