China to boost wind energy capacity to 90 gigawatts

The nation’s new five-year plan for renewable energy will include pledges to boost wind power capacity to 90 gigawatts and also dam the UNESCO-protected Nu River in the southwestern province of Yunnan, according to the China Securities Journal.

Citing information obtained from China’s National Energy Administration, the paper said a draft of the plan, which covers the 2011-2016 period, had already been submitted to other government departments for consultation.

The wind energy target will be met in part by the construction of seven 10 GW wind farm projects, five of which are expected to be completed before 2016.

Previous proposals to dam the Nu River to generate electricity were shelved following the intervention of Premier Wen Jiabao, but China is now anxious to step up hydro construction in the southwest in order to raise the proportion of renewables in the country’s primary energy mix to 15 percent by 2020.

The new five-year plan will also include a commitment to accelerate dam-building on the Jinsha River, the upstream section of the Yangtze also situated in Yunnan.

A target to raise solar photovoltaic capacity to five gigawatts by the end of 2016 will also be set. The plan will push the renewable power quota system that forces local grids to buy a certain proportion of their electricity from clean energy sources.

It will also include policies to construct grids capable of delivering renewable power to customers. The plan is expected to be completed and published in March 2011.

Wind turbines Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel said that his company aimed to increase business in China and develop new clean tech solutions in cooperation with Chinese partners. Vestas’ main Chinese competitors were Sinovel Wind, Xinjiang Goldwind and Dongfang Steam Turbine Works.

Goldwind and Sinovel Wind Group each won 800 MW of wind turbines contracts in Xinjiang. In addition, they respectively won 500 MW and 550 MW of wind turbines contracts in Zhangjiakou.