Wind Wire: Minister slates wind as 'image projects'

CHINA: A Chinese minister has launched an extraordinary assault on his own wind sector, dismissing many projects in the emerging superpower as vanity exercises and forecasting a near-term catastrophe for the country's industry.

In a withering attack, vice-minister of industry and information technology Miao Wei says that most wind projects are mere "image projects" that have more to do with furthering China's profile to the world as a renewables force than actually helping the country meet energy demand. Reported in this month's feature (see page 84), Miao lambasts Chinese wind developers for siting projects in remote sandy regions, leading, he says, to reduced life spans due to mechanical abrasion. Miao's main assault is reserved for the mega-project in Jiuguan City, Gansu, where a mammoth 10GW-plus wind farm is planned for the middle of the decade. The minister forecasts a catastrophe in five years due to siting mistakes made by the Chinese wind sector.

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