NEA:China's Installed Wind Power Capacity Growth Doubled for Five Consecutive Years

2011-6-9   Resource: People's Daily

According to the National Energy Administration (NEA), China's wind power reached 18.8 TWh in the first quarter of 2011, up 60.4%. The growth rate was 30 to 50 percentage points higher than those of thermal power, hydropower and nuclear power over the same period.

Mr. Shi Lishan, Director of New Energy, NEA, said that the rapid growth of wind power in the first quarter was a sign for the significant development of China's wind power in recent years. Since 2005, the installed wind power was doubled for 5 consecutive years. As of the end of 2010, the newly added wind power installed capacity reached 16 GW, the total installed capacity was 41.827 GW, both ranking the first in the world. 31 GW was installed and connected to the grid.

Currently, many 10GW-level wind power bases are in progress in Jiuquan, Gansu, East Inner Mongolia, West Inner Mongolia, Northwest China, Hebei, Xinjiang, Gansu and Shandong. The installed power of wind power bases in West Inner Mongolia and Jiuquan, Gansu is over 5 GW while the installed power in Hebei and Jilin reaches 2.5 GW. During the Shanghai Expo, the Shanghai Donghai Bridge 100 MW Wind Farm produced and transmitted power to the Shanghai Expo as the first commercial offshore wind farm in the world, as an addition to Europe. Subsequently, 1 GW offshore wind power licensed project was launched in Jiangsu. The wind power generation capacity reached 45 TWh in 2010, up 63% over the previous year.

The rapid development of wind power is inseparable to the policy support of the government. During the Eleventh Five-Year-Plan, China adopted "the Renewable Energy Law" and "the Notice on the Requirements of Wind Power Construction Management" and etc. These policies not only provided legal guarantee and policy support for wind power's long-term development, but also clearly prompted an equipment-led and market-oriented development strategy. Up to now, wind power enterprises enjoy the "3-year free and 3-year half' income tax preferential policy (free for the first three years, half pay in the following three years). And their VAT levied will be immediately returned by 50%. In addition to the national benchmark price, some provinces also introduced additional subsidies for wind power. For example, the wind power electricity price in Shandong and Guangdong is higher than the national benchmark price.

The rapid development of wind power is also a result of the equipment-led strategy. According to statistics, in 2004 imported equipment accounted for 90% of the national installed wind power equipment while in 2010, domestically produced equipment accounted for 90% instead. With the development of China's wind power market, more than 10 wind power equipment manufacturers realized large-scale production. 7 manufactures such as Sinovel and Goldwind have been among the world's top 15 wind power equipment manufactures in 2010, with Sinovel being the second place. After many years of technical accumulation and capital investment, domestic wind power equipment has been enhanced continuously. Technical obstacles regarding MW-level wind turbine and offshore wind turbine have been tackled down. Sinovel Vice president Tao Gang said, "there is no single wind power equipment component that cannot be produced by Chinese companies."

The domestication of wind power equipment has facilitated the fast improvement on china's wind power technology and operation quality. Right now the wind turbines in China apply the mainstream technology in the world. The world's leading 3 MW machines and the offshore wind power project are both settled in China. The cost per kW has dropped from 7,000 RMB during the early Eleventh Five Year to 4,000 RMB, lowered by 40%.

The rapid growth of wind power has also benefited from the market operation. Before 2005, without any market competition, wind power was mainly driven by the government power sector. The price was high and the development was slow. Recent years have seen the government organize five concession projects biddings, through which 49 wind farm projects were determined, with the total installed capacity of 8.8 GW. The market mechanism not only attracted a lot of capital into the manufacturing industry of wind turbines, but also realized full competition in technology, quality and cost control among wind turbine manufacturers, promoting domestic technology and management in this area. In 2009, the National Development and Reform Commission issued four benchmark prices of wind power according to geographic resource allocation, which allowed investors to better judge the economic feasibility of wind farm construction projects. (Reporter: Bao Dan)