China wind power installed capacity soared in 2011

China newly-added wind power installed capacity is likely to exceed 20 gigawatts (GW) in 2011, posting a higher growth compared to that in 2010, estimated Qin Haiyan, secretary general of the China Wind Energy Association (CWEA), according to a report by China Securities Journal on Monday.

However, wind turbines generation has not reached the target set for the year, according to Shi Lishan, deputy director of the new and renewable energy department of the National Energy Administration (NEA).

Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd. (SSE:601558), one of the major wind turbine manufacturers in China, has newly added some 3.7 GW of installed capacity in 2011, ranking the top in China’s total new-added installed capacity, and followed by Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology Co., Ltd (SSZ:002202) with some 3.6 GW of new-added installed capacity, Guodian United Power Technology Co., Ltd with 3 GW of new-added installed capacity.

However, Ming Yang Wind Power Group Limited, which ranked the fourth, only added some 1.5 GW of wind power installed capacity in 2011 followed by Dongfang Turbine Co., Ltd which added 1.1 GW.

On the other hand, Danish wind-turbine manufacturer Vestas topped the foreign investment with new-added installed capacity amounting to 660 megawatts (MW) in 2011, posting a substantial drop in the growth rate compared to that in 2010.

Industry observers estimated that China’s wind turbine manufacturing industry might gradually be dominated by domestic industry leaders, with their performance far surpassed industry average and further squeezed market shares taken by foreign enterprises.

Although a big increase in the installed wind farm capacity, China’s wind power generation has undershot the year’s target due to the long-standing headache that most of the wind power generated unable to get connected to the power grid, said Shi Lishan.

It is estimated that the wind power generation in China is likely to reach 70 billion kilowatt-hours, up 40 per cent on year compared to the 50.1 billion kilowatt-hours in 2010, according to the report.

The increase showed a slow down in growth compared to the 81.41 per cent year-on-year increase of wind power generation in 2010, Shi noted.

China needs to further tighten up management over technological standards and implement compensation mechanism for the wind power industry.

The NEA is mulling to expand power grid network that can gives access to wind power to balance the uncertainty of wind power generation and to further develop large scale energy storage facilities, according to Shi.

Meanwhile, the NEA is also considering compensation mechanism for power systems that use much wind power.

For offshore wind power, the NEA is considering to establish benchmark on-grid price for wind power generated electricity.