China?s outstanding wind power figures

Nevertheless, the full potential of this achievement is restrained by persisting network infrastructural problems. China has become the world’s leading producer of wind power. The achievement was widely expected and has now been confirmed by the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, which stated that China added 16,000 MW of wind energy in 2010. Therefore, total wind turbines capacity has reached 41,800 MW at year-end, surpassing the US installed capacity, namely 40,200 MW.

However, notwithstanding this excellent result, a number of structural problems remain unresolved and restrain the full potential of the installed capacity, including those concerning the adequacy of the electricity grid. To this regard, last summer the China Electric Council stated that only 22,900 MW of wind power were actually connected to the grid in August 2010. Nevertheless, even grid-connected wind farms frequently operate below their capacity, since the network is outdated and the energy produced from new facilities cannot be fed into it.

Therefore, the modernization of the national network is still a major challenge within China’s energy policy, due to the government’s determination to strongly develop the use of renewables in the country. For example, as regards wind energy, the government has set the official target of 90,000 MW installed by 2015.