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China to Raise Wind-Farm Approvals by 8% to Meet 2015 Goal

China gave 8 percent more approvals to local governments to set up wind farms this year in a bid to have 100 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2015.

The country’s National Energy Administration this year issued about 29 gigawatts of permits, which are needed by local authorities to allow wind-power projects, according to a government official who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak to the media. The 2012 approvals compare with 26.83 gigawatts granted last year. A fax and two calls to the news department of the NEA weren’t answered.

The increase in permits may indicate a pick-up in wind-power development, Justin Wu, head of wind analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said by e-mail. Growth in the country’s wind industry slowed in 2011 after the government tightened the approval process for wind-energy projects to ease grid congestion. The nation this year will report its first decline in installations, with a 20 percent drop to 16.4 gigawatts expected, NEF said in a Nov. 14 report.

Installations “will likely pick up again, but this time much more gradually than before,” Wu said. “This could not have come any sooner for many Chinese wind-turbine manufacturers that are sitting on massive inventories of undelivered turbines from the past several years.”

China, the world’s biggest wind-power market, had an installed capacity of about 64 gigawatts of wind-energy at the end of 2011.

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