China’s wind farm installed capacity could reach 1,000 GW (one million MW) by 2050, with an energy production accounting for 17% of the expected electricity demand to that date, compared with the present 1%. The forecast is found in the report presented by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC, China’s main agency for industrial development planning), compiled with the technical input of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
In order to achieve this goal, the study estimates that it will be necessary to invest 12,000 billion yuan (about 1,360 billion euros), in order to create more than 700,000 new jobs. Regarding the industrial plans, NDRC believes that until 2020 onshore wind turbines plants will be prioritized.
After that date plans will increasingly focus on offshore wind farm facilities, which will involve all the country’s coasts. Intermediate phases of the development plan foresee a wind power capacity of 200,000 MW in 2020 and twice as much by 2030. Presently 53.000 MW are installed in China, with more than 8,000 MW built between January and June 2011.
NDRC specified that the target for 2050 is not binding like the business plans adopted by the different governmental departments. Nevertheless, it will be one of the reference frameworks for long-time setting of governmental policies in the energy field.
A number of uncertainties hinder China’s wind development. Governmental sources have pinpointed a few, like the cost difference compared with traditionally generated energy and, above all, the possibility of integrating wind power into the country’s energy grids. The latter is an obstacle that could take years to be overcome, it is said.