China to Invest $14.6 Billion in Wind Power by 2010

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Bloomberg) — China, the world’s second-biggest energy consumer, will invest about 100 billion yuan ($14.6 billion) to more than double its wind power capacity by 2010 from last year, a government official said

The country’s wind power capacity will rise to 30,000 megawatts from 12,000 megawatts, Shi Lishan, deputy director of renewable energy at the National Energy Administration, said in Rudong city in the eastern province of Jiangsu today. China’s wind power capacity was the fourth-largest in the world last year, according to Shi.

Investment in alternative energy may exceed 2 trillion yuan by 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, said in 2007. Wind power is “vital” as it is the cheapest form of renewable energy, Shi said. About 80 percent of the country’s power is produced from coal.

“The on-grid price for wind power is about 0.5 to 0.6 yuan per kilowatt-hour compared with about 0.2 to 0.4 yuan per kilowatt-hour for coal,” Shi told reporters.

China Longyuan Electric Power Group, which accounts for about a quarter of the nation’s wind-power capacity, plans to boost capacity to 6,000 megawatts by next year and to 20,000 megawatts by 2020, Vice President Huang Qun told reporters.

Longyuan, the renewable-energy unit of China Guodian Corp., one of the country’s five state power producers, was capable of generating 2,630 megawatts of electricity using wind turbines last year, he said.

Huang was accompanying a delegation of media, industry and government representatives on a tour of the 100-megawatt Rudong wind farm operated by Longyuan.

Government Spending

The government has allocated 210 billion yuan for energy- saving and carbon-reduction projects under its 4 trillion-yuan economic stimulus package, the planning commission said in May.

China is separately drafting a long-term plan to develop renewable energy to replace coal and oil with cleaner-burning fuels. Details will be released “soon,” Han Wenke, head of energy research at the commission, said last month.

The stimulus plan will accelerate the upgrading of power grids, Shi said today. There will be no new preferential policies for wind power projects, he said.

The Asian nation became the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels in 2006, followed by the U.S., Russia, India and Japan, according to U.S. Department of Energy data on Bloomberg.

Private Investment

China Resources Power Holdings Co., the third-biggest Hong Kong-listed mainland electricity supplier by market value, said today it received government approval for two wind projects in Gansu and Guangdong provinces totaling 221 megawatts in capacity.

It will cost about 8,000 yuan to add 1 kilowatt of wind capacity in China, about 30 to 50 percent less expensive than in Europe, Shi said.

“It normally takes 10 years for local developers to see returns on their investments in wind farms,” Chen Tao, an adviser at China Energy Conservation Wind Power Investment Co., said by mobile phone from Beijing.

The world’s third-largest economy will increase its wind power capacity by fivefold to 100,000 megawatts by 2020 from at least 20,000 megawatts next year to help fight climate change, Zhang Guobao, director of the energy administration, said May 26.

About five megawatts is sufficient to power about 1,000 households in China on average, Hu Zhaoguang, vice president of the State Power Economic Research Institute, said by telephone from Beijing today.

China could pass Europe, Japan and the U.S. to become the world’s biggest renewable energy consumer by 2010, Washington- based researcher WorldWatch Institute said in November 2007.

Source: Bloomberg

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