Jiuquan wind power base completes first stage in Gansu (China)

China has completed building the first-stage of Jiuquan wind energy base, the country’s largest wind farm project, in Northwest China, local officials said at the ceremony to mark the completion Wednesday.

More than 3,500 wind turbines have been erected with an installed capacity of 5.16 GW, and at present the wind turbines are generating 1.15 GW of power, said Wang Jianxin, director of Jiuquan Development and Reform Commission.

Jiuquan wind power base is located in the desert area near Jiuquan city, northwest China’s Gansu province, which has abundant wind resources.

China is likely to surpass the United States as the leader in cumulative wind energy capacity by the end of this year, a Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) official said.

"Wind power technology provides governments with a viable option for truly tackling the challenges of our time and for being part of the energy revolution our planet needs," GWEC Secretary-General Steve Sawyer told a news conference. He added that political commitment is needed to make this happen.

An earlier GWEC report showed global wind power capacity grew 31 percent, a 37.5-gigawatt increase to 157.9 GW in 2009. A third of the increase came from China, which doubled its capacity from 12.1 GW to 25.1 GW. The US contributed nearly 10 GW of new capacity in 2009, reaching 35 GW.

The GWEC also forecast an increase of up to 10 times China’s currently installed capacity by 2020, up from 25.1 GW at the end of 2009.

The rapid growth in wind power will not only satisfy the world’s increasing power demands but also achieve major greenhouse gas emissions reductions, as the power sector is the largest emission source. In 2010, the 600,000 workers of the wind farm industry put up a new wind turbine every 30 minutes.