China consolidated its position as the world’s wind power leader in both newly and cumulative installed wind farm capacities in 2011, according to official figures released by the China Wind Energy Association (CWEA) on Friday. The CWEA says that China had 17.6 gigawatts (GW) of wind turbines installed in 2011.
Though this was down 6.9 percent from the previous year, it took China’ s cumulative wind power installed capacity amount to 62.4GW, up 39.4 percent year-on-year, by the end of 2011. The country, therefore, remains the global leader in wind power, in terms of newly and cumulative installed capacities.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council, the United States, which previously led the world in installed wind power capacity, had only 6.8GW of wind turbines installed in 2011, making its cumulative total 46.9GW by the end of the year.
Li Junfeng, director of the China Renewable Energy Industries Association, said the Chinese wind power industry met with many challenges in 2011,including slower wind farm construction and many accidents in the sector, but nevertheless managed to overcome all the hardships and demonstrated excellent performance by the end of the year.
The top five Chinese provincial regions for newly installed wind turbines were Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Shandong, Ningxia and Liaoning, which added 3.7GW, 2.1GW, 1.9GW, 1.7GW and 1.2GW, respectively.
The newly installed capacity adjusted the ranking of China’s top five wind-power-developing regions, in terms of cumulative wind wind farm installation, to Inner Mongolia with 17.6GW, Hebei with 6.9GW, Gansu with 5.4GW, Liaoning with 5.2GW and Shandong with 4.6GW.
In 2011, the ranking of top wind turbine makers was reshuffled, too. Goldwind replaced Sinovel as the largest in newly installed capacity, totaling 3.6GW of wind turbines. Goldwind held a 20.4 percent share of the Chinese wind energy market.
Sinovel, with 2.9GW of newly installed capacity, took up a 16.7 percent share.
Goldwind and Sinovel both attributed their poorer performances in 2011, compared with the previous year, to the Chinese government’s delay in approving new wind farms and a cyclical fluctuation of the macro economy, which led to postponed wind farm construction and subsequently less demand for their wind turbines.
Goldwind had 3.7GW of wind turbines and Sinovel had 4.4GW of wind turbines installed in 2010.
Guodian United Power surpassed Dongfang Electric to be the third largest, seizing a 16.1 percent market share with 2.8GW of turbines newly installed.
However, the new top three took up only 53.2 percent of the Chinese market in 2011, where as the old top three held 56.8 percent in 2010. According to industry officials, this shows the big players in the Chinese wind turbine manufacturing sector have met with violent competition from more rising companies.
Foreign wind turbine makers in China continued to face strong challenges from local manufacturers, though they previously dominated in the country. In 2004, when China had few local operators in the sector, foreign-branded wind turbines occupied a 75 percent share of the Chinese market.
Foreign wind turbine makers, except for GE, occupied smaller market shares in newly installed capacity in 2011. Vestas dropped from the 6th largest in 2010 to the 8th largest in 2011. It had 661.9MW of wind turbines installed in China in 2011, holding 3.8 percent of the Chinese market.
GE climbed from 14th largest in 2010 to 11th largest in 2011. It had 408.5MW of turbines installed in China in 2011, taking a 2.3 percent market share.
In terms of cumulative total in 2011, the top three wind turbine makers remained Sinovel, Goldwind and Dongfang Electric, as in 2010.
The top three had 13GW, 12.7GW, and 6.9GW of cumulative installed capacity by the end of 2011, taking 20.8 percent, 20.3 percent and 11.1 percent of the Chinese market, respectively. But their market shares reduced from 56 percent in 2010 to 52.2 percent in 2011.
According to latest statistics from HIS Emerging Energy Research, a globally leading industry advisory company, four Chinese wind turbine makers — Sinovel, Goldwind, Guodian United Power and Mingyang — edged into the world top 10 list in 2011.