Wind Power in China Sees Enormous Growth, Immense Challenges

From Green Tech Media

By Herman K. Trabish

“For the Chinese wind industry as a whole, 2012 appears to be another year combining elements of the best of times and the worst of times,” reports a new quarterly assessment from GTM Research and Azure International.

Though 3Q financials from China’s biggest turbine manufacturers like Sinovel, Goldwind, and Mingyang (NYSE:MY) confirm a sharp fall in revenues, the Chinese wind industry installed 2.9 gigawatts of grid-connected and non-grid-connected capacity, bringing China to a cumulative 71 gigawatts  at the end of the quarter. It is on track to pass the 50-gigawatt cumulative grid-connected capacity mark in 2012 and reach its highest annual installation number, approaching eighteen gigawatts for the year.

According to the GTM Research-Azure International report, China’s wind industry is on track for a cumulative 80 gigawatts by the end of 2012 and 150 gigawatts of installed capacity by the end of 2015. That would dramatically exceed the 100-gigawatt 2015 target set by China’s 12th Five-Year Plan in 2011.

China wind, however, faces “immense challenges,” according to the report, “from ongoing problems with grid connection, ever-growing amounts of curtailed wind generation, new restrictions from State Grid on who can connect, and, perhaps most importantly, uncertainty about whether policymakers will do as they have done in the past to ensure the sector continues its rapid growth.”

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