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Clean Power

Published on January 28th, 2015 | by Joshua S Hill


China’s Wind Energy Output Dropped In 2014

January 28th, 2015 by  

The electricity generated by China’s wind energy capacity fell by 5.2% in 2014, according to the country’s National Energy Administration.

The news, reported by Wind Power Monthly, states that the average uptime for projects of 6 MW and over across the country was 1,905 hours. The decline in generation came due to curtailments and weaker wind conditions throughout the northern provinces of Jilin and Gansu.

Specifically, the regions of Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, and Xinjiang were all reported to have performed well — with Xinjiang registering an average uptime of 2,094 hours, and Fujian, in southeast China, registering the highest uptime of 2,530 hours.

This news adds credence to the American Wind Energy Association’s views that America, rather than China, is in fact the premiere wind energy giant in the world.

Twice now, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has published a blog post by James Walker, a member of the AWEA, about the competition between the US and China. Many automatically assume China to be world number one in wind energy, installing 20.7 GW of wind energy, compared to America’s 4.7 GW.

However, when talking about energy generated, the AWEA points out that the US is well ahead of China — 20%, to be exact; 167 billion kWh compared to 138 billion kWh.

US 1 in wind energy

While China’s total wind energy capacity sits at 96 GW, for whatever reason, it doesn’t appear to be doing the job it needs to be doing.

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I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.

  • Fred Kraybill

    There are some major differences between wind power in China and the US. The US mid west is the Saudi Arabia of wind power and we get very high capacity factors. The US subsidy for wind power is based on production of electricity (PTC or Production Tax Credit) which encourages the wind farms operators to produce more and also helps them compete when electric prices are low. The US power grid doesn’t have the problem with curtailment that China does. And finally turbines in the US are probably more efficient and have higher hub heights than China. That being said, China is installing so many turbines that they will most certainly be generating more wind powered electricity than us in the near future.

    • Martin

      I have seen an installed, in Canada, small wind turbine, from China, and it did have a rather low hub height.

    • Matt

      Texas had a lot of curtailment until they upgraded transmission. China needs upgrade their transmission. Also wouldn’t hurt to add a lot of storage at each end.

  • Ronald Brakels

    So has the number of kilowatt-hours from wind energy consumed in China fallen by 5.2% or has the capacity factor of wind power fallen by 5.2%? (Roughly a one percentage point drop.) Surely it would have to be the latter and not the former?

    • Fred Kraybill

      Most certainly you are right. There must be some further explanation. I think most climate activists are rooting for China to increase their clean energy. It doesn’t make sense that they could add 15 or more GW of wind power and then generate less electricity.

    • Kevin McKinney

      I disagree: if curtailments increase, generation drops. And if that is the case, then kilowatt-hours from wind consumed drop, too. Weaker wind conditions could have a similar effect, though I think it would likely be smaller. And wind capacity factors would drop, too, making it not an either/or proposition.

  • JamesWimberley

    If the problems were indeed largely in Jilin and Gansu, they must be very severe. The conditions can’t be as hard as in Inner Mongolia or Xinjiang, which are as remote and inhospitable as it gets in China. Expect heads to roll. The leadership does not mess about; Xi has arrested the powerful former security chief Zhou Yongkang.

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