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Competition in China's next five-year plan will see firms fall

CHINA: At China Wind Power 2015 the government said the rate of growth would not fall in the next five-year plan, but warned competition could be tough and the industry must focus on power generation.

Fundamental changes needed, said NEA director Zhu Ming
Fundamental changes needed, said NEA director Zhu Ming

The future is bright, but the road will be twisted, Li Peng, deputy division chief at China's National Energy Administration (NEA), said at the annual China Wind Power Conference in Beijing in October.

The government's 12th five-year plan, which ends this year, has proved quite successful, with most goals met, he said. The growth level in the next five-year plan (2016-2020), would be no lower, he added.

It was not all good news however. Li cautioned that installing too much capacity without generating a comparable amount of electricity was a waste of investments.

"We now believe the problem of curtailment is not a technological one, but stems from the scheduling mechanism," he said. "If the grid-feeding priority given to wind power is honoured in practice, we can boost wind installations to 400GW. But if the scheduling mechanism remains unchanged, 200GW will be too much."

Corporate losses

Li also warned that the cost of wind must drop if the sector is to develop healthily, calling subsidies a double-edged sword. In the next five-year plan period, competition would be heated and, in the end, probably not many companies would stay afloat.

Li assured that the plan would adhere to the principle of steady advancement.

Zhu Ming, NEA director of the new and renewable energy department, said China's cumulative grid-connected wind capacity had reached 105GW at the end of June, and is likely to grow to 120GW by year-end.

China also has plans to raise the rate of renewables to 20% by the end of 2030, for which the 13th five-year plan will be crucial.

"We must trigger fundamental changes in the production, consumption, management and technology of energy," Ming said.

The annual event attracted about 600 exhibitors, the largest number in its history, with visitors representing over 20 countries.

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