At the end of 2007, China's installed base of wind power
totaled just over 6 gigawatts (GW), making China the fifth
largest producer of wind power, after Germany, the U.S.,
Spain and India. As a consequence of the rapid build-out
of wind power projects in China, in April 2008 the National
Development and Reform Commission revised its 11th Five
Year Plan Period plan for wind power development from
5 GW to 10 GW by 2010.
By 2015, installed capacity of
wind energy will have reached 10 GW or more and
by 2020 Gansu is expected to have 20 GW of wind
power in the Jiuquan corridor.
More impressively, wind power industry statistics show
that by the end of 2008 China's total installed base of
wind power production will have already reached 10 GW,
two years ahead of the revised plan. Some experts are
estimating that by 2010, the total installed capacity
for wind power generation in China will reach 20 GW and
that by 2020 China's installed base of wind power will
total 100 GW.
Estimates by experts in wind power development in Inner
Mongolia have an even more optimistic assessment; they
believe that by 2010 China's total installed base of wind
farms will total 27,700 megawatts (MW) and that China
will then be the fourth largest producer of wind power
in the world. The Inner Mongolia experts further predict
that China will become the third largest producer of wind
power worldwide by 2015.
From Xinjiang in China's far west to Shanghai, wind power
projects are being developed across China. Below are highlights
of local efforts to build-out wind power capacity throughout
Of the 230 million kilowatt-hour (kWh) wind potential
throughout China, it is estimated that Inner Mongolia
has wind resources of approximately 101 million kWh or
40% of the total. There are some 200 companies that already
have entered or plan to enter Inner Mongolia's wind power
Through the end of 2005, total installed on-grid wind
generating capacity was 170 MW and there is another 962.1
MW of installed wind generating capacity already under
construction. By the end of 2010 Inner Mongolia expects
to have a total of more than 5 GW of wind projects operating,
which will amount to 7.5% of total power generating capacity
in the region.
Yet based on the announced projects, it is likely that
the total amount of wind power capacity in Inner Mongolia
by the end of 2010 will exceed 5 GW. For example the city
of Chifeng already has entered into an agreement with
the Datang Company to develop 1 GW of wind power and by
the end of 2010 Chifeng city alone is expected to have
total installed capacity of 1.5 GW.
The Hexi (west of the Yellow River) corridor near Jiuquan
city, which has been dubbed the "Land-Based Three Gorges,"
is the locus of development of Gansu Province's substantial
wind resources. In this area there is an estimated 10,000
square kilometers of land which can be used for wind power
development and the estimated capacity that can be developed
there is 40 GW.
Though Gansu Province's long-term wind power development
plan calls for the construction of 18 large and mid-sized
wind farms with a total installed capacity of 20 GW, through
the end of 2007 there were a total of 500 MW of wind farms
operating, with another 1 GW in planning. Gansu's plan
calls for 3 GW to be added in the last three years of
the 11th Five Year Plan period, so that by 2010 there
will be 4 GW of wind power in operation in Gansu Province.
By 2015, installed capacity of wind energy will have reached
10 GW or more and by 2020 Gansu is expected to have 20
GW of wind power in the Jiuquan corridor.
The province of Shandong is undergoing a boom in wind
power development. There are five wind farms that were
under construction in 2007, including one each in Rongcheng,
Dongying, Zhanhua, Shougang and Weihai. In total these
five wind farms are to cost 2.5 billion Yuan and provide
a total of almost 300 MW of power generating capacity.
Because Shangdong Province is a coastal province bordering
the East China Sea, provincial officials estimate that
the province has upwards of 67 GW of wind power resources;
this is equivalent to 3 Three Gorges Projects.
Long term, engineers in Shangdong believe that there
can be as many as 38 wind farms producing power in Shangdong.
According to the provincial government's plan, Shandong
will have 1 GW of wind power generating capacity by 2010
and 3 GW by 2020.
Heilongjiang Province and its capital Harbin also
are making strides to develop wind power. Surveys indicate
that the wind resources in Harbin alone are equivalent
to 10 GW of power and that with existing technology the
exploitable wind power in Harbin is ~ 1 to 2 GW. The Mulan
Wind Power Plant, which was started up in 2004, has installed
capacity of 12 MW.
According to a National Development and Reform Commission
plan, Shanghai will build a total of 13 land and
sea-based wind farms in Nanhui, Qinjian and three islands
(Chongming, Changxing and Hengsha). By 2020 Shanghai will
have a total of 1 GW of installed wind power generating
capacity, which will be sufficient to supply power to
4 million residents. Presently Shanghai has three wind
farm projects operating, including the Shanghai New Energy
Environmental Protection Engineering Co., Ltd.'s four
wind turbines with combined capacity of 34 MW; the Shanghai
Wind Power Development Co., Ltd.'s 21 MW wind turbines;
and the 13 wind turbines located in Nanhui and Chongming
which produce 42 GWh/year combined.
The Ala Mountain Pass region of Xinjiang Province
is one of that province's best locations for the development
of wind power projects. According to plans developed by
the provincial government by the end of the 12th Five
Year Plan period (in 2015) this area will have an installed
base of wind farms totaling 1 GW.
Construction has been completed on the first stage of
the Beijing Guanting Wind Farm project. The thirty-three
windmills have a total capacity of 50 MW. Based on average
consumption by Beijing residents of 1000 kWh/year, the
Beijing Guanting Wind Farm will be able to provide power
to approximately 100,000 households. After the second
phase of the Beijing Guanting Wind Farm is constructed
(by 2010) the project will be generating 100 MW in clean
Hainan Province has drafted a plan to encourage
the development of 13 wind farms to be located primarily
in the Eastern, Northwestern and Western coastal areas
of the province. The anticipated total capacity of wind
power to be developed in Hainan through this plan is more
than 1.2 GW; of this total Hainan Province anticipates
having between 4 and 6 wind farms operating by 2010 with
total installed capacity of 250 to 300 MW at a cost of
approximately 3 billion Yuan. By 2015 Hainan Province's
installed capacity to produce wind power will have grown
to 400 MW and by 2020 will grow again to 600 MW.
The Daan city region is the location of some of Jilin
Province's most plentiful wind resources; with an
area of some 1200 square kilometers that region has the
potential to develop as much as 6 GW of wind power. If
the full potential of the Daan city region's wind resources
were exploited, as much as 12 billion kWh of power could
be generated from wind power in that region, which also
has good infrastructure for the transmission of power
Because wind power is proving to be a cost competitive
source of power for this energy thirsty nation, the Chinese
are aggressively ramping up capacity wherever wind resources
can be found. As Chinese manufacturing prowess is increasingly
put at the disposal of the wind power industry and the
cost of wind power further declines, the rate of growth
of wind power installations will continue to accelerate.