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Wind Power in China – 3 Signs of Trouble as Wind Energy Capacity Doubles – Declining Growth Inevitable

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China Wind Power Market has become the biggest in the world with more than 18 GW of capacity installed in one single year, Note China has managed to double its capacity each year since 2005 and at the end of 2010 Wind Capacity totalled 44 GW which makes China the biggest Wind Power country in the world overtaking the USA.China has now got 7 of the Top 15 Global Wind Turbine Manufacturers and 2 of the Top 3 WTG Companies.China’s Massive Demand for Energy has made power plants mushroom in the country where more than 70% of the electricity is met by Coal.Wind Energy still forms only a small part of the power mix at less than 7% of the total power capacity and serves only a fraction of the Kwh of electricity given the lower load factor of Wind Power.Note Wind Power has grown in China as its Advantages as a Clean Source of Energy far outweigh its Cons.However the rapid demand growth has made a top inevitable as a country can only install that many megawatts in a year.

The 2 Biggest Signs of Trouble for the Chinese Wind Power Industry have been seen in the last couple of days.

1) Sinovel has canceled shipments of Electrical Control Systems (ECS) for its Wind Turbines from American Superconductor due to high inventory levels and refused past payments as well.With the biggest Manufacturer of Wind Turbines reporting inventory problems,the situation of the rest can’t be that good

2) The Chinese National Energy Bureau was considering tighter procedures that would include requiring local governments to get the written approval before going ahead with wind projects with installed capacity of less than 50 MW.Earlier it used to be more than 50 MW

3) Hundreds of Wind Turbines have not been connected to the Power Grid due to lack of capacity or transmission lines.China emphasises on investment without factoring in returns is one cause of these orphan wind turbines.

China has aimed for around 200 GW of Wind Capacity by 2020 that implies a solid growth of around 15 GW per year,but that means the industry growth will not only have to become stable but also decline.This is particularly difficult given the massive investments in capacity being made by local Chinese Wind Turbine Makers indulging in Price Wars but also the investment being made by foreign WTG Producers like Suzlon,Gamesa,Vestas,GE who look towards China as a saviour of their slowing growth.


Abhishek Shah

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