China's wind power close to topping 50GW

Chinese wind generation far exceeded expectations adding 18.9GW of new capacity last year making it the world leader, according to a new report.

Growth has so been so rapid it's estimated that last year every second wind turbine installed was put up in China.

Total wind power in China now stands at an installed capacity of 44.7GW, confirming views that the country is now the world leader in renewable generation.

However, the rise in the figure which was announced last night (April 6) by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association (CREIA) and the Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA), is substantially higher than previous estimates.

Worldwide wind power has also continued to grow and almost reaches the 200GW mark at 197GW - representing a 24% growth.

The figures mean China overtook the United States as the country with the most installed wind energy capacity last year.

GWEC's secretary general, Steve Sawyer, said: "The installed capacity of 44.7 GW includes turbines which have been grid connected and are delivering electricity, even if they have not yet completed the commissioning and acceptance procedure, which can take several months.

"This explains the much reported 'gap' between installation and grid connection which is often reported from China. In other markets, it is common practice to include all turbines as soon as they are grid connected and producing electricity."

China's wind market doubled every year between 2005 and 2009 in terms of total installed capacity, and it has been the world's largest annual market since 2009.

This strong growth in China has had a significant impact on the market shares of wind turbine manufacturers, which see Chinese companies increasing their overall shares of the global wind markets.

Luke Walsh


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