China bans wind farm construction in grid-poor areas

CHINA: The Chinese government has issued a ban on wind development in areas where projects are struggling to be connected, in its latest attempt to tackle a chronic lack of grid access.

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China's National Energy Bureau (NEB) recently issued an extra-urgent document demanding provincial energy bureaus ban wind-farm projects in areas that have over 20% installed wind turbines lying idle.

Wind-farm construction has outpaced grid construction in northern areas that have rich wind power resources but few local power users, and therefore need good grid infrastructure to move the electricity over long distances to users in the central and eastern areas.

In many provinces around 20% of wind turbines laid idle in 2011, with that figure rising to over 30% in some sections of northern, north-eastern and north-western China.

This latest decree by the NEB follows restrictions on wind development, including a quota system, announced in August 2011 .

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