China is expected to overtake Germany and the United States to become the world's largest wind power producer by 2020, a report has forecast.
The 2006 Annual Report on China's New Energy Industry says that the 10th Five-Year Plan (2000-2005) period saw a rapid development of the wind power industry with installed capacity rising by 30 percent annually on average.
In 2000 the power generated was 350,000 kw with that figure rising sharply to 1.26 million kw in 2005. This placed China in seventh position in the world in wind power generation.
The report quotes a prediction by the Global Wind Energy Council that China’s total wind power installed capacity could reach 150 million kw in 2020. This would make the country one of the world's major wind power producers.
As a country with a long coastline and sufficient winds China boasts wind power resources of 3.2 billion kw of which one billion kw could be developed, according to the report.
China has set up more than sixty wind power farms around the country, developed key technologies and trained personnel specialized in designing and operating these farms. The country is well prepared for large-scale development of the industry, the report indicates.
According to China's national development plan the total installed capacity of wind power will reach five million kw by 2010 and 30 million kw by 2020.
During the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010) around 30 large wind power projects of 100 MW will be constructed in regions with abundant wind resources such as eastern coastal areas, Hebei Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in north China.
In terms of small wind power projects China has already developed the largest market in the world. By the end of 2005 the country had installed 320,000 small wind turbine generators with a total capacity of 65,000 kw. These are used to supply power to residents in remote areas, according to the report.
(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2007)