CHINA will have 100 gigawatts of wind-power capacity by 2020 – more than three times the 30GW target the government laid down in an energy strategy drawn up just 18 months ago.
“Installed wind-power capacity is expected to reach 100million kilowatts in 2020. That will be eight times more than in 2008,” Fang Junshi, head of the coal department of the National Energy Administration, told a Coaltrans conference in Beijing.
“The annual growth rate will be about 20%.”
Fang’s remarks confirm what industry experts have long maintained – wind power has the potential to take a much bigger share of China’s power mix than the government had planned.
Moreover, this puts China in the renewables super-league with both massive generating capacity and an extensive manufacturing base.
China is the world’s second-largest energy user and currently has about 12GW of wind-power capacity. The aim is to lift this to about 20GW by next year, which would put this massive nation on track to bust the 2020 target, which was set in 2007.
That also means that wind is set to be a bigger source of power than nuclear, despite a construction boom in nuclear power plants.
Wind would also become a far larger generator than solar, which is expected to hit 1.8GW by 2020, according to the 2007 plan.
The original 2020 target for nuclear was set at 40GW, but China is now aiming for 60GW and officials have spoken of 70GW. This compares with 9.1GW of nuclear power capacity at the end of 2007. There are 24 reactors in-build. More are in planning.
However, coal will continue to dominate China’s power mix, although it is likely to slip from its 80% share.