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Wind Power Hits Record High In China’s Coal Hub

Following a continuous surge in capacity levels over the past half decade, the northern Chinese coal hub of Shanxi province posted a record level of wind power generation in the second half of January.

china wind turbinesAccording to official data, wind power comprised a total of 14% of electricity generation in Shanxi province on January 18, 2015, with the full day wind power generation amount reaching 69.26 gigawatt-hours in total.

On the same day, the contribution made by wind power to the grid in Shanxi province reached a record-breaking high of 3.698 gigawatts at 12:24 in the afternoon.

As of the end of last year, Shanxi province’s installed wind power capacity had reached a total of 4.85 gigawatts, making it the second-largest electricity source within the province.

In 2014, the full year wind power generation amount was 7.524 terawatt-hours, while the average annual usage time for wind power modules was 1912.1 hours.

Shanxi’s increasing usage of wind power and other sources of renewable energy is particularly noteworthy given its status as one of China’s most polluted provinces, chiefly as a result of the prominence of the local coal mining industry and its importance to the country’s overall energy supply.

The province’s urban centres are notorious for the severity of their air pollution, with Linfen frequently cited by World Bank assessments of air quality as the most polluted city on the planet.

In addition to expanding installed wind power capacity, Shanxi province is also striving to deal with the problem of intermittent generation and increase usage efficiency, via the development of a province-wide automated control system based on forecasts of air patterns.

The system is expected by the local government to achieve an increase in wind power absorption by the grid of as much as 23%.

Wind power isn’t Shanxi’s sole source of renewable energy. As of the end of last year, Shanxi’s installed solar power capacity was 405 MW, while in 2014 its solar power generation amount reached 315.1 gigawatt-hours, with an average generation time of 1518.4 hours.

Renewable energy currently accounts for roughly 9% of province-wide installed power capacity.

Image: wind turbines in China, via Shutterstock

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Written By

is an Australian trade journalist and technical translator with a keen interest in trends and development in the global energy sector, and their ramifications for economic growth in the future. He spent most of the noughties as resident of the greater China region and is literate in both Mandarin and Classical Chinese. Marc’s avocational interests include distance running, French literature, economic history, European board games, and submission grappling.


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