China takes grid-connected capacity to over 60GW

CHINA: China connected 12.85GW to the grid in 2012, according to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (Serc).

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The new installations took the total number of grid-connected wind turbines to 60.83GW, said Serc. These turbines generated 100.4 billion kilowatt hours electricity in 2012, up 35.5% over the previous year. However, the 12.85GW figure is lower than 2011's figure of 16GW.

China has maintained high annual growth in wind installations in recent years. By the end of 2009, the country's cumulative grid-connected wind installations stood at 17GW. The figure rose to 31GW in 2010 and 47GW in 2011.

Liu Tienan, deputy head of China’s National Energy Bureau, said earlier this month that China plans to have 18GW new wind turbines installed and connected to the grid in 2013.

In the past two years, the Chinese government has adjusted the strategy for wind power development. It has controlled the scales and speeds of wind farm construction in northern regions, which have rich wind power resources but fewer electric power users.

The government has encouraged wind power developers to tap wind resources in the central and southern regions, which have high altitude or low wind speed areas.

To date, China has approved over 50GW wind development projects for the 12th Five-year Plan period (2011-2015). This includes 28.83GW for the first batch of projects, 16.76GW for the second batch of projects, and the recently added 5.21GW for four northern areas. More than 40GW wind projects are under construction.

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