Solid progress gives another record year -- China wind installations double

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With 198 MW of new capacity installed in China last year -- 100 MW more than installed the previous year -- it was another record year for wind development. By the end of 2004, China's cumulative installed capacity had risen to 764 MW across 43 wind stations in 14 provinces, reports China Hydropower Engineering Consulting Group (CHECG). Moreover, 2004 saw the successful tendering for three concession projects totalling 650 MW and the possibility of renewable energy legislation again up for discussion.

Inner Mongolia moves up from third place in 2003 to take pole position as the province with most wind power (table). With 23.5% of the new capacity in 2004, its cumulative total rose to 135 MW after the addition of 46.8 MW in two developments: the 25.8 MW Huitengxile wind farm, using 12 Vestas NM 900 kW turbines and ten GE Energy 1.5 MW turbines; and the 21 MW Chifeng wind farm of 28 Vestas NM 750 kW machines. The only other provinces to see development activity last year were Xinjiang and Ningxia Hui, the latter a surprise entry to the top five, installing 23% of the new capacity -- 45.05 MW -- to bring its total to 55.2 MW. The 53 new turbines were all 850 kW machines, with Gamesa supplying 48 and Vestas the remaining five. The year also saw the entry of Heilongjiang province into the top ten list with 32.7 MW across two wind farms, taking its cumulative total to 36.3 MW and seventh place in the provincial rankings.

Overseas turbine manufacturers dominated the market, with Spain's Gamesa in the lead followed by Vestas, thanks to its merger with NEG Micon, GE Energy and Dewind (table). By the end of the year foreign companies had supplied 628 MW of China's wind capacity to date, with Vestas and NEG Micon accounting for a combined the 226.49 MW. Spain's Gamesa has a 92.2 MW share.

champion supplier

Goldwind, affiliated with Germany's Repower, was the undisputed champion among domestic suppliers, taking third place in the overall supplier rankings for the year. With 66 units totalling 39.6 MW across five wind projects, it took a 20% slice of the 2004 market. To date it has supplied 90 MW of China's total wind capacity.

Selection of contractors for tenders for 650 MW across three state projects have been completed. By the end of this year China's installed wind power is expected to top 1000 MW, requiring around 240 MW of development. Shi Pengfei from the Chinese wind energy association and an advisor to CHECG says this "won't be a problem." China's targets are for 4000 MW of wind power by 2010 and 20,000 MW by 2020. A draft renewable energy law designed to achieve these goals is still under consideration by the National People's Congress (Windpower Monthly, September 2004). The law is expected to be approved this year.

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