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China wind power sector added 18.9 GW

18 May 2011

China wind power sector added 18.9 GW, reaching a total installed wind turbines capacity of 44.7 GW in 2010

According to the third National Wind Energy Resources Census, China’s total exploitable capacity for both land-based and offshore wind farm energy is around 700-1,200 GW.

Compared to the other leading global wind power markets, China’s wind resources are closest to that of the United States, and greatly exceed resources in India, Germany or Spain. Due to varied wind resources across China and differing technical and economic conditions, wind turbines development to date has been focused on a few regions and provinces, including: Inner Mongolia, the Northwest, the Northeast, Hebei Province, the Southeast coast and offshore islands.

China’s wind market doubled every year between 2006 and 2009 in terms of total installed capacity, and it has been the largest annual market since 2009. In 2010, China overtook the United States as the country with the most installed wind farm capacity.

China added 18.9 GW of new wind power capacity, thereby reaching a total installed capacity of 44.7 GW. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the growth in installed wind turbines capacity was driven by a record level of investment in wind power in China, which exceeded USD 20 billion in 2009. In the third quarter of 2010, China’s investment in new wind farm projects accounted for half of the global total.

In addition, the Chinese government report “Development Planning of New Energy Industry” calculated that the cumulative installed capacity of China’s wind power will reach 200 GW by 2020 and generate 440 TWh of electricity annually, creating more than RMB 250 billion (EUR 28 bn /USD 38 bn) in revenue.

2010 was also an important year for Chinese wind turbines manufacturers, as four companies, including Sinovel, Goldwind, UnitedPower and Dongfang Electric, are part of the world's top ten largest wind turbine manufacturers, and are beginning to expand into overseas markets.

Driven by global development trends, Chinese wind turbines firms, including Sinovel, Goldwind, XEMC, Shanghai Electric Group and Mingyang, have entered the competition to manufacture wind turbines of 5 MW or more.