Photographer: STEPHEN SHAVER/STEPHEN SHAVER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

China Plans 22% Boost for Wind Power Capacity After Record 2015

  • Government plan to develop 30.83 gigawatts of wind power
  • New developments restricted in places where turbines are idle

China plans to increase total wind power capacity by 22 percent in 2016, underscoring the government’s effort to develop clean energy at about the same pace as last year’s record installations.

The nation plans to develop 30.83 gigawatts of wind power this year, the National Energy Administration said in a statement on its website on Monday. It added 33 gigawatts in 2015, triple France’s entire capacity of the clean resource, according to data from NEA. 

Developers rushed to deliver projects last year before tariffs paid for clean energy were reduced, and the support levels on offer this year are generous enough to keep drawing in investment.

"The target is very high" for 2016, said Shi Yan, a Shanghai-based analyst at UOB Kayhian Investment Co. "New projects will be in regions with little idling capacity, offering good profitability for developers."

The central province of Henan will have the most wind power projects approved this year, with the eastern province of Shandong following, according to NEA.

Wind installations in China have almost doubled since 2012 to 139 gigawatts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The rapid growth of wind power has left the grid struggling to connect all the plants, forcing wind turbines to sit idle.

China is clamping down on the ability of local authorities to plan new wind projects in some of the windiest provinces because the pace of building to date has outstripped the grid’s ability to absorb new power flows. Those places include the northern provinces of Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Gansu, Ningxia and Xinjiang.

— With assistance by Feifei Shen

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