In 2013, China witnessed yet another year of impressive wind energy capacity addition. While the total capacity added was off the peak levels seen a couple of years ago, the Asian giant still managed to add 45% of all the wind energy capacity added in 2013.
According to the latest data released by the Chinese Wind Energy Association, the country added a staggering 16,089 MW of wind energy capacity [pdf], pushing the cumulative installed wind energy capacity to 92,038 MW at the end of 2013. The annual capacity addition grew by 24% while the cumulative capacity grew by 21% in 2013. Globally, a total of 35,501 MW wind energy capacity was added. Wind capacity addition in China was more than the capacity added in all of Europe.
The offshore wind energy sector saw a massive decline in 2013. Only 39 MW capacity was added last year, pushing the cumulative installed capacity to 428 MW. Only three companies installed new offshore projects last year.
Inner Mongolia remains the leading province in terms of cumulative installed capacity. It, however, lagged behind in capacity addition in 2013, coming second to Xinjiang, which added 3,146 MW capacity. Shanxi and Shandong provinces completed the top four provinces in terms of capacity addition in 2013. These four provinces collectively added 46% of the national capacity addition last year.
Inner Mongolia, blessed with high wind energy potential, has the highest wind energy installed capacity in China. With 20,270 MW capacity installed by the end of 2013, the province commands a share of over 22% of national installed capacity.
Vision Energy, Shanghai Electric, and XEMC were the top three manufacturers providing technology to wind energy projects last year. All three manufactures provided over 1,000 MW of wind turbines to project developers and represent 20% of the installed capacity last year. Vestas supplied just over 500 MW of wind energy turbines installed in 2013 translating to a share of 3.3% while the share of other global brands like Gamesa and GE was around 1% each.
Sinovel Wind and Goldwind are the leading manufactures of offshore wind energy turbines in China with a respective market share of 39.7% and 25.5%.
On a cumulative basis, almost 19,000 MW (21%) of Chinese wind energy capacity has been manufactured by Goldwind while just over 15,000 MW (16.5%) has been supplied by Sinovel Wind. Among global brands, Vestas commands the highest share in installed capacity (4.9% or about 4,500 MW), with Gamesa in second place (4% or about 3,500 MW) and GE in third place (2% or about 1,800 MW).
This aggressive expansion of the wind energy capacity has helped China generate more electricity from wind energy than nuclear energy for the first time. If the country manages to sustain this rate of capacity addition, it may very well achieve an installed capacity of 1,000 GW by 2050.