6.6b yuan of wind power blown away in first half
Wind power producers in three northern regions on the mainland were forced to waste 6.6 billion yuan (HK$8.09 billion) of electricity generated in this year's first half due to chronic power grid capacity shortages, says the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
In a report documenting the results of a survey on the industry's development, the watchdog said an average 16 per cent of the three regions' wind farm operators' total output was not transmitted to the grid in the period, even worse than the 12.5 per cent recorded in the first half of 2010.
They include the northeast, northern and northwest regions, which together accounted for 87.7 per cent of the nation's total wind power generating capacity. The average 'wastage' rate was as high as 27 per cent in Gansu province, 24 per cent in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and 15 per cent in Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces in the northeast. They are among the top wind power producing regions.
The commission blamed a lack of co-ordination between the pace of development of wind farms by developers and the government's expansion of power grids, as well as lagging improvement in inter-region grid transmission capability as the main culprits for the problem that has been plaguing the nascent clean energy industry in the past few years. 'Wind project construction cycles are short, while those of power grids are long,' said the report released last week.
The commission cited the Ningxia autonomous region, where 4.3 GW of new wind farms have been approved to be built, although only 1.53 GW have secured grid connection.
The mainland is the world's largest wind power generation country by installed capacity. But after four years of over 100 per cent annual growth in installed capacity, growth slowed to 73 per cent in 2010 and 39 per cent last year, due to shortages of transmission capacity, according to Global Wind Energy Council's data.
Monopoly power grid builder and operator State Grid Corporation of China had ploughed a total of 440 billion yuan into grid connection infrastructure to wind farms by the end of last year, the report said.
Beijing planned to lift the mainland's total wind power capacity to 100 GW by 2015 from 62 GW last year, when it made up 5.8 per cent of the total.
The council said in a report last April: 'The large penetration of wind in certain regions requires the grid system and grid operator to be flexible and smart, but the current system is neither.'