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China To Increase Wind Power Capacity By 22% In 2016

China is planning to increase total wind power capacity by 22% this year, reiterating the government’s plans to keep renewable energy development high.

The news was published on the country’s (Mandarin) National Energy Administration website. Bloomberg Business, which translated the statement, said that the Chinese Government is aiming to develop 30.83 GW of wind power this year, which is relatively in line with the 33 GW the country developed in 2015.

Bloomberg notes that, though last year’s tariffs drove much of the installed capacity, “the support levels on offer this year are generous enough to keep drawing in investment.”

Addressing concerns that the targeted install capacity this year might sit idle, as has been the case with some of China’s renewable energy development over the past few years, Bloomberg Business quoted Shi Yan, a Shanghai-based analyst at UOB Kayhian Investment Col, who noted that, while “The target is very high” for 2016, “New projects will be in regions with little idling capacity, offering good profitability for developers.”

China is also quickly catching up to America in terms of wind energy produced — having already eclipsed everyone in terms of wind energy installed. According to data published earlier this year by the Global Wind Energy Council, the US continues to lead the world in terms of wind energy production, but China was close on its heels and is likely to overtake very soon.

China’s wind energy plans come shortly after the country unveiled its 13th Five-Year Plan, which the World Resources Institute claims “will guide the country’s economic and social development from 2016 through 2020.” The Plan includes new carbon and energy intensity targets for the country’s economy, with a planned 18% reduction in carbon intensity from 2015 levels — though the WRI suspects China will actually reduce its carbon intensity by 48% from 2005 levels by 2020, exceeding its original target.

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