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China

China counts the cost of windpower

China's government is paying out CNY 1.382 billion ($201.16 million) in production subsidies for power generated by around half of the 10 GW of wind capacity now installed in the country. Announced at the end of November, the sum is part of a CNY 2 billion ($292.5 million) financial package covering 148 operating renewable energy projects.

China's government is paying out CNY 1.382 billion ($201.16 million) in production subsidies for power generated by around half of the 10 GW of wind capacity now installed in the country. Announced at the end of November, the sum is part of a CNY 2 billion ($292.5 million) financial package covering 148 operating renewable energy projects. Included in this are 102 operating wind farms with a combined capacity of 5 GW.

The CNY 1.382 billion payout will cover the difference between the selling price of electricity generated by the projects between October 2007 and June 2008 and the benchmark price of electricity generated by coal projects for that period, says a joint statement by China's National Development and Reform Commission and the State Electricity Regulatory Commission. Combined, the wind projects generated 5.916 billion kilowatt hours of electricity during that period.

In addition, CNY 40 million ($5.85 million) will be issued to help cover grid connection fees for 82 of the renewable energy projects, some of them wind, say the two government authorities. A further CNY 20 million ($2.9 million) is being allocated to ten renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of 6.9 MW to help with operation and maintenance fees, though none of these are believed to be wind projects.

The announcement of the total cost of China's subsidies to renewables follows similar announcements in March 2008 and October 2007, which together announced support of between CNY 710.5 million ($103.9 million) and CNY 960 million ($140.4 million) for 113 renewable energy projects, 87 of them wind projects.

The biggest payout for wind in the latest subsidy round is being made for the 100.5 MW Phase I Wudaogou Wind Farm in Inner Mongolia. Developed by Chifeng Xinsheng Wind Power Generation, a joint venture comprising China Longyuan Electric Power Group, China Huadian Corporation and State Grid Xinyuan, it generated 329 GWh of electricity between October 2007 and June 2008 and is being awarded CNY 89.88 million ($13.15 million). The second largest amount goes to Phase II, III and IV of Saihanba Wind Farm in Inner Mongolia, involving a combined capacity of 139.4 MW and a generation total for the period of 306 GWh. Developed by Datang International Power Generation, it is being allocated CNY 83.54 million ($12.22 million).

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