China wind energy has great potential

The number of grid-connected wind farm plants in China reached 486 by the end of August 2011, with the total installed wind power capacity standing at more than 39.2 gigawatts, according to the Wind Power Safety Report 2011 recently released by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

By the end of August 2011, the installed wind turbines capacity exceeded 1 megawatt in nine provinces in China, including Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Gansu, Liaoning, Jilin, Shandong, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu and Xinjiang.

According to the report, China’s wind power industry has enjoyed steady and rapid development in recent years. The country’s total installed wind farm capacity has doubled for five consecutive years during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010), making it the world’s largest wind power producer. China’s wind turbines output reached 49.4 gigawatt hours in 2010, up nearly 79 percent from the previous year and accounting for over 1 percent of the country’s total electricity output.

The average utilization hours of its installed wind power capacity reached 2,047 hours last year. During the first six months of 2011, China’s wind power output reached 42.9 gigawatt-hours, up more than 81 percent from a year earlier and accounting for nearly 2 percent of the total electricity output of the country’s wind farms above the designated size. In addition, the average utilization hours of China’s installed wind power capacity reached more than 1,250 hours during the period.

China is rich in wind energy resources and has huge potential for wind energy. China’s potential development capacity of wind power on land and offshore is 2.4 gigawatts and 200 megawatts, respectively, with about 80 percent of the capacity concentrated in its northern regions, southeastern coastal areas and offshore islands. The geographical distribution of its wind energy resources is similar to that of coal resources, but it is not aligned with the distribution of power demand.