Clean Power China Totals One Third Of Global Onshore Wind Installations for 2012

Published on March 24th, 2016 | by Joshua S Hill


China To Increase Wind Power Capacity By 22% In 2016

March 24th, 2016 by  

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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  • Ivor O’Connor

    18% is rather small. Shouldn’t it be closer to 50%?

  • Brian

    China will overtake the USA in wind power produced soon, because it has wise leaders, unlike the ignorant republican leaders in the USA, who are in the pockets of their masters in the dirty fossil fuel industry. Wind and solar could provide 100% of the USA’s electricity if it was scaled up like China is doing.

    • Frank

      The republicans ended up on the wrong side of this debate, but the PTC and ITC was renewed. And some of the fight is happening in the public utility commisions, like Ohio where First Energy is trying to get the ratepayers to guarantee they make money on an old nuke, and an even older coal plant.

    • Frank

      The republicans ended up on the wrong side of this debate, but the PTC and ITC was renewed. And some of the fight is happening in the public utility commisions, like Ohio where First Energy is trying to get the ratepayers to guarantee they make money on an old nuke, and an even older coal plant.

      • Peter Moss

        This is not a simple problem. Baseload power plants are not able to make a profit supplying power only part of the day. Yet, their power is needed for the part of the day that they supply it. If they close down, where will the power to replace the power that they are supplying come from, and how much will it cost the ratepayers?

        • Bob_Wallace

          Short term, natural gas.

          The installed cost of CCNG is low. Just over $1/watt. The cost of CCNG is fuel. Utilities can put a watt of NG ($1), a watt of wind ($1.60) and a watt of solar ($1.40) online for a total of $4/watt. Use the CCNG only as necessary when the wind isn’t blowing or Sun shining.

          As batteries become cheaper it will make sense to add some ~$1/watt storage for short cycle use and avoid fuel cost for the gas plants.

          Ratepayer costs should drop over time.

          Taxpayer costs will plummet. Don’t forget the very high kWh price of burning coal. What we pay out in health costs. We think we’re paying 12 to 13 cents. We’re really paying closer to 20 cents per kWh for our electricity. With just a little work we could get coal completely shut down in 15 years and see a very large health care cost savings.

    • Kevin McKinney

      Well, let’s not get carried away over the ‘wisdom’ of China’s leaders. While I concur with you about the merits of their RE policy, I won’t call them truly ‘wise’ until I see real progress toward political freedom and the rule of law. Just now, the tide seems to be running toward more authoritarianism and a cult of personality around Mr. Xi.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Effective is a better word than wise. They get stuff done.

        They may be wise. Wise, but with a different idea of how best to run a country. A virtual dictatorship can be extremely effective but there are no checks and balances to help keep the government working for the general population as opposed to only a few insiders. The only corrective force for a dictatorship is a revolution, elections are not an option.

        I think the central Chinese government is reducing corruption and is working to make the lives of Chinese citizens better. They’ve certainly done that so far. But by restricting free speech they run the risk of losing touch with what those outside the central government want.

    • Lou Gage

      Is this the same leadership that allows the air in it’s capital to be so bad that citizens are told to stay indoors? Lou Gage

    • Lou Gage

      Is this the same leadership that allows the air in it’s capital to be so bad that citizens are told to stay indoors? Lou Gage

      • Bob_Wallace

        It is. Like other countries, as they developed, China put economic growth ahead of pollution. Perhaps you remember when the United States did exactly the same thing.

        Now China has pulled itself up by its own bootstraps and has started cleaning up its pollution problems.

  • JamesWimberley

    China has strong policies in place to address the curtailment problem: several new long-distance HVDC lines are being built, and priority despatch will be guaranteed, overriding old sweetheart deals signed at local level with coal plants. So we can expect some of the idle capacity yo cone on stream as well as the new build.

  • sault

    Good to know that wind and probably solar production growth is staying considerably ahead of GDP growth for the time being. And that lower GDP growth in China isn’t affecting renewables negatively right now.

    For comparison, the world needs sustained 10 – 15% annual growth in renewables to completely replace fossil fuels in electricity generation by the 2050’s. Anything significantly above this level just means we get there sooner all while decreasing the impact of climate change along the way.

    • JamesWimberley

      Concur on Chinese growth. You see a lot of excited commentary treating the slowdown as a recession. 6 point something percent annual growth is lower than Chinese have got used to, but it’s still high by global standards.

    • Jens Stubbe

      Sault 15% annual growth is more than a quadrupling every decade. In the last decades wind has seven doubled measured by capacity and considerably more measured by electricity production.

      Wind delivers approximately 5% of world electricity production today so quadrupling every decade will ensure that wind produces all electricity sometime before 2040 and all world energy sometime before 2050. (This requires that total energy consumption stays flat based upon higher efficiency.)

      However solar will also keep expanding and so will a number of other renewable technologies, so the world will be 100% renewable a good while before 2050.

      If all the new 30.000 +1MW wind turbines that was grid connected in 2014 were all Vestas 164 turbines running at 50% capacity factor and you kept 30.000 new turbines for 20 years then wind would produce all global electricity by 2036.

      Interesting 22% wind growth as targeted in China will maintain the steady normal seven doubling trend per decade. If the world keep up with the 22%, growth wind will deliver as much electricity by 2031 as the entire world produced in 2014.

      Considering coal and Fracking gas is no longer at grid parity most places around the globe and the entire fossil value chain badly need restructuring and that the cost of wind as well as solar is dropping fast I think that the cleantech revolution can at least keep its pace.

      • Peter Moss

        Discounting the fact that wind and solar cannot produce even the majority of the world’s electricity without storage, you also have to consider the fact that usage will not be flat. It certainly won’t be in China or India. And the growth as a percentage will be much greater in much of the developing world. The IEA predicted a 65% increase in the world wide use of coal by 2035. This would be while the West is using less of it. This would all be to produce electricity for the developing world. So, any projections need to consider the larrge growth in the demand for electricity in the developing world.

        • Jens Stubbe

          Peter your statements are just like text book stuff for nuclear and fossil proponents.

          IEA predictions will never happen and both IEA and EIA has been consistently wrong by factors about the development within both wind and solar despite the smooth and constant trends that rapidly has turned renewables into the new grid parity in most parts of the world.

          The developing world in particular cannot afford coal and this is why the entire coal value chain is in such a mess right now. By 2025 wind it expected to be 40% less and solar 50% less than today. (That cost trajectory is a considerable slowdown compared to recent years and even the development since the days of modern wind and solar began.)

          The average PPA for new renewable electricity in USA will by 2025 be 2,5 US cents without subsidies.

          No one in their right mind will start construction of coal plants with unknown costs when they can get cheap wind or solar with guaranteed cost 20 years into the future.

          The idea that storage is needed for renewables is simply not true today not true midterm and certainly not true long term.

          Today renewables just blend in. Mid term this will still be the case but the capacity factors for both solar and wind will increase and more renewable technologies will come into play. Long term a diverse port folio of over provisioned renewable energy generation combined with HVDC, smart grid and new power consuming processes such as Synfuels that can be regulated will provide cheap electricity on demand.

          Storage is simply too expensive and takes too long time to implement.

          The Tesla Giga Factory will produce as much battery capacity as mankind has produced up to this day when it is in full operation. One minute of grid scale storage will require all of the output from the Giga Factory.

          To stabilize a grid based upon renewables minutes does not help at all and just to cover the dam and for new cars in 2015 you have to build 190 Giga Factories and you would need still more to electrify trucks, busses, planes, ships etc.

    • Peter Moss

      I hope that by renewables you include hydro and geothermal because when wind and solar (as well as other variable and intermittent if they are added) get to 30% there is going to be a problem because that type of renewables can’t completely replace fossil fuels in electricty generation. Even the 30% will be with backup that will probably be mostly natural gas.

      If a lot of people believe this — that wind and solar can completely replace fossil fuels in electricity generation — we have a serious problem regarding solving the Climate Change issue.

      • sault

        “…there is going to be a problem because that type of renewables can’t completely replace fossil fuels in electricty generation. ”

        Please provide a link backing this statement up. You claim is debunked by several readily-available sources:

        “It has become an article of popular faith that building wind farms also involves constructing fossil-fuelled power stations for back‑up when the weather is calm. As a result, some opponents go on to say, wind turbines do little or nothing to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

        Now the National Grid has studied what actually happens in practice, with explosive, if surprising, results. Between April 2011 and September 2012 – its head of energy strategy, Richard Smith, told the Hay Festival – wind produced some 23,700 gigawatt hours (GWh) of power. Only 22GWh of power from fossil fuels was needed to fill the gaps when the wind didn’t blow. That’s less than a thousandth of the turbines’ output – and, as it happens, less than a tenth of what was needed to back up conventional power stations.

        It proved to be much the same with emissions. Wind saved nearly 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over that 18 months; standby burning of fossil fuels only reduced this by 8,800 tonnes, or 0.081 per cent.

        Not surprisingly, given these figures, no new fossil‑fuel power station has been built to provide back‑up for wind farms, and none is in prospect.”

        “Studies show that wind energy integration costs are almost always below $12/MWh—and often below $5/MWh—for wind power capacity penetrations of up to or even exceeding 40% of the peak load of the system in which the wind power is delivered. System operators continue to implement a range of methods to accommodate increased wind energy penetrations, including: centralized wind forecasting, treating wind as dispatchable, shorter scheduling intervals, and balancing areas consolidation and coordination.”

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