China Boosts Wind-Farm Approvals, Seeks to Ease Burden on Grid

China increased approvals for wind farms to try to reach a goal of having 100 gigawatts of the energy installed by 2015 while easing grid bottlenecks.

The National Energy Administration approved 28.7 gigawatts of wind farms, up from 27.5 gigawatts granted in 2012, it said today in a statement on its website. The permits exclude Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, where the grid has been overloaded with the carbon-free energy.

China has slowed construction of onshore wind farms, adding 15.9 percent in 2012, 18 percent less than a year earlier, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Since 2011, the NEA has required local authorities to seek its approval before adding capacity after new plants clogged grids.

The approved plants, which include four pilot projects totaling 750 megawatts, will probably be developed from 2015 onwards, Demi Zhu, a Beijing-based analyst from NEF, said by e-mail. The regions excluded this time “have been suffering significant grid curtailments,” she said.

China will work to improve connections of wind power to grids, the NEA said in a separate website statement today. The nation will raise the proportion of wind power consumption in power use from the current 2 percent, it said.