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Wind Power In China

May 16, 2017

By Paul Homewood




For some reason (?), I get newsletters from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). It is yet another lobby group for renewables.

Today it includes this piece from their China Director (my bold)




Dear reader,
China is the global renewable energy powerhouse, with both the wind and solar industry leading the world. In 2016, China added 23,370 MW of new wind power capacity to the country’s electricity grid. This brings China’s cumulative installations to 169GW, representing 35% of the global total and cementing China’s position as world’s no 1 wind power market.
Here are some highlights of China’s wind development:

  • China has been leading the global wind market for 8 years in a row. Its annual installations account for 42% of the global market.
  • Electricity produced from wind power reached 241 TWh in 2016, enough to produce 4% of the country’s electricity.
  • China’s offshore installed 592 MW, passing Denmark to achieve the 3rd place in the global offshore rankings, after the UK and Germany.
  • Goldwind continued to dominate the Chinese market with 27% of the total annual market, followed by Envision and Mingyang. The top three manufacturers accounted for 44.1% of the total market. 

In 2016, new changes in the policy framework kicked in with the new Five-Year Plan (FYP) for the period of 2016-2020. In the new Energy FYP, the major change is the contrast between promotion of renewables and the control over coal development. Non-fossil energy sources will account for over 15% of the total energy consumption, while coal consumption will be lowered to below 55%, down from 65% in 2015. To reach the 15% target, the share of renewables will need to go up by 3% during the five year period out to 2020. This is the backbone for renewables development in China, reflecting the commitment made in the Paris Agreement.

  • According to the 13th FYP, by 2020, total RE electricity installations will reach 770 GW, up 250 GW from 2015, representing an increase of 31%.
  • The target for wind power is at least 210 GW by 2020, with electricity production of 420 TWh and 6% of total power production. This translates into 79 GW of new wind power, representing about 30% of all installations planned for the renewables sector.
  • Offshore wind target is set at 5 GW by 2020.

In terms of challenges, curtailment remains the major challenge in China, with national curtailment rate reaching 17% in 2016. Solving the curtailment issue is also one of the prime focuses of the FYP. Solutions include increasing the share of natural gas, increasing HV DC/AC long distance lines, and increasing the use of RE heating systems and pumped storage.
Call for abstracts is now open for this year’s edition of China Wind Power – see more details in an article below.
Let’s hope China’s ambition is contagious!

Happy reading,

Liming Qiao 
China Director, GWEC


We often hear how China is leading the world in renewable energy, but this is purely because all of the numbers are just so big in China.

In 2015, for instance, total electricity generation in China, was 5810 TWh, accounting for 24% of the world’s total. In contrast, it was 4303 TWh in the US and 3231 TWh in the whole of the EU.

I have long been pointing out that China’s targets for wind are actually unimpressive to say the least.

Now even the GWEC China Director confirms this fact.

Despite talk of 23,370 MW of new wind power capacity, 35% of the global total and an increase of 31%, the stark reality is that China will still only be producing 6% of its electricity from wind by 2020.

Given that we are already up to 11% in the UK, I might be forgiven for feeling underwhelmed!

  1. Joe Public permalink
    May 16, 2017 11:12 am

    I wonder why they didn’t use an image of a junk in their photoshopped masthead?

  2. Dung permalink
    May 16, 2017 11:21 am

    The Chinese have more sense than our government on wind power.

    • May 16, 2017 12:23 pm

      Who doesn’t?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 16, 2017 12:44 pm

      And whether you vote Red Labour or Blue Labour nothing will change after the election.

  3. May 16, 2017 3:42 pm

    241 TWh from 169 GW is a capacity factor of 16.3%

  4. Barbara Stockwell permalink
    May 16, 2017 8:10 pm

    16.3% capacity factor is a lot less than world annual average of about 25% (last number I have seen). It is not even as good as rooftop and part small commercial solar which is about 19%.

  5. May 17, 2017 9:16 am

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

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