China State Grid projects 150GW of connected wind by 2020

April 16, 2011
Wind farm and transmission lines at sunset
China's electrical grids will connect 90 gigawatts (GW) of wind power capacity by 2015, said China's largest power grid company on Friday. The 2020 figure is projected to be 150 GW, said the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) in a white paper on wind power development.

China's installed wind power has doubled every year for the past five years and overtook the United States to be the world's largest in 2010. The industry, has however, been stymied by a lack of grid infrastructure to connect its windiest regions in the country's remote north and northwest with its energy-hungry cities in eastern and central China.

According to the SGCC white paper 29.56 GW of wind capacity was grid-connected by the end of 2010 while the China Wind Energy Association says China had 44.7 GW of installed wind capacity, meaning more than a third was not grid-connected.

Shu Yinbiao, deputy general manager of SGCC, said that in 2010 China's wind turbines operated for 2,097 hours on average, providing 21.1 percent of local power consumption in the eastern part of Inner Mongolia, 8.7 percent in the western part of Inner Mongolia, 5.6 percent in Jilin Province, and 4.6 percent in Heilongjiang Province.

SGCC is complaining that uncontrolled wind farm construction has outpaced the national plan for grid construction, which makes grid access a bottleneck of China's wind power development. To meet the challenge of sending wind-generated power over long distances China is looking to ultra-high-voltage power transmission lines.