Chinese wind power sector to witness enormous development

The continuous devastations from earthquakes and tsunami, combined with the nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, have led to the creation of new market opportunities for China. The Chinese wind energy sector is experiencing gains due to shifting trends. The Chinese Wind Energy Association released a statistical report which stated that, in 2010, mainland China added 18.9 gigawatts of wind energy capacity, and that for several years now there has been an increasing trend in power production via renewable energy resources.  Currently, the country’s wind power capacity has reached 44.7 gigawatts, an increase of 73.3 percent compared with the previous year.  The increase in wind power capacity has pushed the country to first place globally, ahead even of the United States, in terms of installed wind power capacity. The country had approximately 29.6 gigawatts of production from wind turbines connected to the grid at the end of 2010.

During each of the past five years, there has been a two-fold increase in the installation of wind power to China’s power grid. The country is planning to install huge wind power projects down the road.  The expected wind power capacity by 2015 will be around 90 gigawatts, with 150 gigawatts by 2020. Many analysts believe wind power is safer and has a smaller carbon footprint when compared with other new energy technologies. Moreover, wind power is friendly to the environment and less costly than nuclear power. A policy official at the National Energy Board by the name of Shi Lishan stated that the primary target of China is to develop onshore and offshore wind energy projects on a larger scale. Towards that end, the country last year kicked-started the construction of several new wind power plants. The Chinese government’s five-year plan through 2016 will hopefully build and export around 5 gigawatts of generation from offshore wind energy turbines.

Over the next several years, China will increase the export rate of its wind turbines, and this will in turn foster the growth of the Chinese wind power sector, this according to an analyst at Donghai Securities. Over the past few years, China has been urging domestic wind power companies to expand their presence in overseas markets. One company, Sinovel Wind, built up a high-tech enterprise that designs, manufactures and markets onshore and offshore wind energy generators on a large scale. Sinovel Wind has established its wind energy arm in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Spain and even the United States.

The northern, eastern and central parts of China are regions that are expected to become the hub for wind power production in the years to come. Large numbers of wind energy projects are to be constructed in Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Gansu, Hebei and Xinjiang due to the high winds that blow across the northern tier of that terrain. In the future, wind power firms in China will enhance their operation and management capabilities.

By Chris Termeer

Chris Termeer

Chris Termeer is an oil and gas consultant, industry commentator and analyst. His book, Fundamentals of Investing in Oil and Gas provides a comprehensive overview of all aspects of the oil and gas industry, including exploration, drilling, production, storage, transportation and refining, to name but a few.

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