China ups wind target to 10 GW

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On the back of massive growth in the past year, China has at last upped its official wind target from 5000 MW by 2010 to 10,000 MW. Announced by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) as part of the country's 11th Five-Year Program for Renewable Energy Development to 2010, the new target is already expected to be met ahead of schedule. By the end of last year, almost 6000 MW of wind was installed. Most commentators expect 10,000 MW will be surpassed this year. By 2010 actual installations are likely to be double the latest official target, says Shi Pengfei of the Chinese Wind Energy Association. Even NDRC seems to agree. Speaking at a high-level forum in March in Beijing, NDRC's Zhang Guobao predicted China's wind capacity will climb to 20,000 MW by 2010. Zhang heads up the newly created State Energy Bureau, formed as part of the government's reshuffling of government departments to favour super ministries. Popular calls for a fully independent ministry of energy were rejected in favour of the bureau. This is still under NDRC control but is understood to enjoy some measure of autonomy. Under the 11th plan, the government wants to see construction of 30 large wind farms with capacities of several hundred megawatts built by 2010. It also has ambitions for five new 1000 MW wind power "bases," one each in Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Gansu, Jilin and Liaoning. Longer term it envisages 10,000 MW bases in North China's Gansu and Inner Mongolia regions and in the coastal intersection of Jiangsu and Shanghai in east central China. With these ambitions in mind, NDRC calls for domestic wind turbine manufacturing capacity to reach 5000 MW a year by 2010. In particular, it wants to see output of 1.5 MW wind turbines and for 3 MW machines to be developed for offshore use.

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