China’s wind energy capacity reaching over 50 gigawatts


China’s wind power sector has witnessed substantial growth, with the country’s on-grid wind power capacity reaching over 50 gigawatts to date, the State Grid said Wednesday.

The State Grid, China’s largest utility company, said in a press release that on-grid wind power capacity under its distribution has reached 50.26 gigawatts as of this year, indicating an annual growth rate of 87 percent for the last six years.

However, the regional concentration of wind resources and technical obstacles have prevented the efficient use of wind power, the company said.

Zhang Zhengling, spokesman for the State Grid, said China’s utilization of wind energy has reached a “relatively high level” following a string of measures to monitor and adjust the use of the energy.

In 2011, power generated from wind totaled 70.6 billion kilowatt-hours (kwh), 28.2 times the amount generated in 2006, according to Zhang.

Linking regional networks to the national power grid remains a stumbling block for the growth of the sector, Zhang said.

“The key problem is that regional connections are still weak, and there is not yet a unified national market and corresponding grid network,” said Shu Yinbiao, deputy manager of the State Grid.

Shu said China should speed up the construction of trans-regional power grids in order to meet its new energy development goals.

The country’s on-grid wind power capacity is expected to reach 100 gigawatts by 2015 and 200 gigawatts by 2020.

The focus on new energy comes as the country tries to shift away from fossil fuels and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent per unit of gross domestic product by 2015.