Delegates welcome second spring

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With several hundred megawatt of wind plant

under development, China should have no problem reaching its target of 1000 MW of operating wind power capacity

by the end of 2005, delegates to the third annual conference of the China Renewable Energy Industries Association were told

Less than two months after the National People's Congress passed the country's renewable energy law, delegates packed into the Xindado Hotel conference hall in Beijing for the third annual conference of the China Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) with a renewed sense of purpose. While those hoping to hear the first details of how the law is to be implemented will probably have been disappointed, many will have been buoyed by the ushering in of what CREIA chairman Zhu Junsheng hailed as the "second spring" for renewable energy in China.

Around 160 delegates listened to ten keynote presentations at the one day conference, most of which outlined the forthcoming opportunities inherent in the new renewables law and the issues still to be resolved. The law sets a target for renewables to meet 10% of the country's energy supply by 2020 and comes into effect on January 1, 2006 (Windpower Monthly, April 2005). Wind power is expected to contribute around 20 GW, noted Zhou Huang of the State Development & Reform Commission (SDRC), which is turning the law into detailed legislation. He was vague about progress so far on implementing the law. Among the decisions still to be made are quantitative targets for renewables, industry development guides and technical standards, mechanisms for electricity rates and cost-sharing, and mandatory share stipulations for utilities.

Seriously big

Zhou did reinforce the commission's support for wind power development -- revealing that SDRC is considering supporting two 1000 MW wind power stations in addition to the seven concession projects with a combined capacity of 1150 MW already in the pipeline. Two of these, the first phase of the Rudong wind farm in central coastal Jiangsu and the Huilai wind farm in south China's Guangdong province, are under development. Vestas is supplying 50, 2 MW turbines for Rudong, while Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind is supplying Huilai with 600 kW units.

Both 100 MW projects were approved in 2003, provided that 50% of their hardware is made locally. A further three of the projects, all approved last year, are at the preliminary stage of preparation and must involve 70% local content. Zhou does not rule out a similar condition on future approvals.

The final two of the seven projects, the 200 MW Dongtai wind farm in Jiangsu province in the east and the 100 MW Anxi development in Gansu province in the west, may go out to international tender. A further concession project planned for Jimo, Shandong province, has been shelved, reportedly because the preparations for it were considered inadequate.

Sites for the 1000 MW projects have already been selected, said Zhou. One is in the Poyang River area of central China's Jiangxi province and the other in the Huanghua area of Hebei Province, which borders Beijing. If approved, development would take place over ten years, with 100 MW commissioned each year. "A decision is yet to be made on whether the two would be offered as concession projects," Zhou said.

Offshore mentioned

Offshore wind power development is another real possibility, added Li Baoshan of the Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST). The department hopes to see the development of multi megawatt Chinese wind turbines with proprietary intellectual property rights, he said. Li also noted that MOST is considering sponsoring an offshore wind pilot project, which if it goes ahead would be carried out over the next five years.

The MOST pilot would be separate from the proposals being considered by the Jiangsu provincial government for a 600 MW offshore wind plant to form the third phase of the Rudong wind development (Windpower Monthly, April 2005). China has a long coastline, Li noted, and its offshore wind resources are rich. The coastal areas are the most developed in the country, but suffer from a shortage of energy. "Wind energy may well be a solution to the problem," he said.

cumulative capacity

By the end of 2004, the country's cumulative installed wind capacity had reached 764 MW across 43 wind stations in 14 provinces. A further 2930 MW is in different phases of processing, according to Shi Pengfei of China Wind Energy Association. Of this, he said, construction has been started on 520 MW. To meet China's target of 1000 MW of wind power by the end of 2005, an additional 240 MW must be installed this year. "It shouldn't be a problem," Shi said.

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