China supplants US as country with most installed wind energy capacity

China will increase cumulative grid-connected installed wind farm capacity to 55 GW this year and increase cumulative installed wind power capacity to 100 GW by 2015. By 2020, it plans to have 200 GW of installed wind energy capacity.

This year, China will start building the second-stage of the 5 GW wind farm project in Jiuquan in northwest China’s Gansu province; the 2 GW wind power project in Hami in northwest China’s Xinjiang; the 2 GW wind power project in Kailu in north China’s Inner Mongolia; and the 1.5 GW wind power project in Tongyu in northeast China’s Jilin province.

China will also kick off the building of a 1 GW offshore wind farm project in east China’s Jiangsu province. It will accelerate offshore wind turbines projects in the eastern coastal provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Zhejiang and Fujian. It will also speed up development of the second-stage of Shanghai’s East Sea Bridge offshore wind farm.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, is considering a 5-trillion-yuan ($758 billion) emerging energy industrial development plan. If approved, some 1.5 trillion yuan ($227 billion) of investment will flow into the wind-power sector.

China installed 16GW of new wind power capacity in 2010, a 62 percent year-on-year growth rate, taking its total installed capacity to 41.8 GW, Li Junfeng, secretary general of Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA), said at the association’s annual New Year meeting in Beijing.

The US installed about 5GW of new wind-power capacity in 2010, taking its total installed capacity to 40.2 GW, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

US investors’ confidence in the renewable energy sector suffered because the US failed to enact binding climate change-limiting legislation.

The wind power capacity installed in China in 2010 will save 31.3 million metric tons of coal per year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 90 million tons, suspended particles by nearly 33,000 tons, sulfur dioxide by 64,000 tons and nitric oxide by 60,000 tons.

China’s wind power industry has developed by leaps and bounds in recent years, boosted by the promulgation of the Renewable Energy Law in February 2005. China’s cumulative installed wind power capacity increased by more than 100 percent for five consecutive years.