China's Idled Wind Turbines Rise in 2015 After Record Installs

  • About 15% of installed wind farms were unused in 2015
  • Idled wind generation surges 69% from a year earlier

China’s wind turbines sitting idle more than doubled to 15 percent in 2015 after record installations of 33 gigawatts, triple France’s entire capacity of the clean resource.

Idled power generation increased 69 percent from a year ago to 33.9 billion kilowatt-hours, according to data from the National Energy Administration on Tuesday.

The northwestern province of Gansu had the highest rate of idling in the nation, the NEA said. It was followed by Xinjiang and Jilin.

China’s wind farm operators have suffered from idled capacity for years as the rush to build projects in the windiest areas of the nation surpassed the grid’s ability to absorb and transmit the power. More coal-fired capacity and slower electricity consumption growth are also weighing on demand for wind power.

— With assistance by Feifei Shen

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