China Number One in Wind Power Capacity


"Last year, the nation increased its total wind power capacity by 62%."

China overtook the U.S. to win the title of largest installed wind turbine capacity in 2010 globally, though failed to meet the set quota of renewable energy in its energy portfolio.

Last year, the nation increased its total wind power capacity to 41.8 gigawatts, up 16 gigawatts or 62% from the previous year, according to the data released Wednesday by the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association.

Favorable policies from the government have almost doubled the country's wind power capacity every year since 2005, when the government set a target to make renewable energy account for one 10th of the country's energy mix by 2010. But the target was not met, as hydro, solar and wind power made up a mere 9% of the country's energy needs at the end of 2010, according to the association.

Despite greater installed capacity, China's wind power generation in 2010 is lower than that of the U.S., according to the association data.

Grid-connected capacity lags behind installed capacity by more than 30%, higher than the 10% gap in developed countries, undermining China's wind-power efficiency and effectiveness, according to Li.

"China must translate its massive installation to massive utilization, which requires the implementation of effective incentive policies and a thorough overhaul of the national grid," said Yang Ailun, head of Greenpeace East Asia's climate and energy campaign.

"Despite a renewable energy policy requiring grid companies to purchase all available electricity generated by wind farms, access to the grid is impeded by unstable, outdated grid infrastructure."

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