China prevé instalar 120 gigavatios en siete zonas para 2020

Los números parecen increíbles y sin duda merecen una revisión posterior, pero muestran el enorme auge de la energía eólica en China.

Las siete zonas son Jiuquan en la provincia de Gansu (noroeste), Hami de la región autónoma Uygur de Xinjiang (noroeste), la provincia de Hebei (norte), el oeste de la provincia de Jilin (noreste), el este y el oeste de Mongolia Interior (norte), y la provincia de Jiangsu (este), precisó Shi Pengfei, vicepresidente de la Asociación de Energía Eólica de China, citado por el rotativo China Daily en su edición del martes.

Una vez finalizadas, en 2020, las siete zonas contarán con una capacidad combinada de alrededor de 120 gigavatios, y la capacidad energética total de China sería de unos 1.500 gigavatios, predijo el funcionario.

Shi reveló además que la construcción de esas siete zonas requerirá de una inversión cercana a un billón de yuanes (unos 146.200 millones de dólares).

Los recursos de energía eólica de China se encuentran principalmente en las regiones septentrionales y las zonas costeras.

"La construcción de grandes zonas de energía eólica en estas zonas está en consonancia con el desarrollo sostenible de la industria", sostuvo Shi.

China va camino de convertirse en una gran potencia eólica, y para ello basta contemplar la evolución de la potencia eólica instalada:

Año 2000: apenas 346 MW.
2001: 402 MW.
2002: 469 MW.
2003: 567 MW.
2004: 764 MW
2005: 1.260 MW.
2006: 2.604 MW.
2007: 5.912 MW.
2008: 12.210 MW
2009: 20.000 MW (previsto).
2010: 30.000 MW (previsto)
2020: 150.000 MW (previsto)

Numeros empresas internacionales tienen fábricas en China, como la danesa Vestas o Siemens, o las españolas Gamesa y Acciona, pero también hay potentes empresas nacionales, como Goldwind de la provincia de Xinjiang. China tiene un enorme potencial eólico. El proteccionismo dificulta la implantación de empresas extranjeras, incluidas las españolas Gamesa y Acciona.

China implantó la Ley de Energías Renovables en el año 2006 como parte del plan para mejorar sus registros medioambientales. Lo que más necesita en estos momentos es la tecnología para hacer efectiva su determinación de construir un modelo económico limpio y ecológico.


Seven wind power bases to be set up by 2020

By Wan Zhihong (China Daily)

China plans to build seven wind power bases with a minimum capacity of 10 gigawatts (GW) each by 2020, in a move to dramatically increase the use of the clean energy.

The seven bases are: Jiuquan in Gansu province, Hami in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Hebei province, western Jilin province, eastern Inner Mongolia, western Inner Mongolia, and Jiangsu province, Shi Pengfei, vice-president of Chinese Wind Energy Association, told a conference yesterday.

Once completed in 2020, the seven bases will have combined capacity of around 120 gW, when the country’s total power capacity is projected to be 1,500 GW, said Shi.

Construction of these bases would require an investment of around 1 trillion yuan ($146.38 billion), he said.

China’s wind energy resources are mainly located in the northern regions and the coastal areas. Construction of large-scale wind power bases in these areas is in line with the healthy development of the industry, said Shi.

Besides onshore wind power, which has seen rapid growth in China, the country has also started to develop offshore wind power projects. China is now building its first offshore wind power project, the Shanghai Donghai Offshore Wind Farm, which is also the first offshore project outside Europe.

China’s wind power sector has witnessed 100 percent annual growth in the past three years. The country’s wind power installed capacity is expected to exceed 30 GW by the end of 2010, up from 12 GW last year, Shi Lishan, deputy director of the new energy department under the National Energy Administration told China Daily earlier.

In order to achieve this target, China needs to invest an additional 100 billion yuan at least in the sector, he said.

Many domestic companies are accelerating their development in wind power sector. China’s five major power companies, together with other companies like China Shenhua Group and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group have all started their wind power projects.

There are also an increasing number of foreign companies entering China’s wind power market. Vestas from Denmark, which is the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturer, earlier this year opened a plant in Inner Mongolia to increase its manufacturing capacity in China. The company is also in the process of opening a new office to cover offshore wind power business in the country.

As the most developed energy resources among all the new energies, wind power will account for an important part in the forthcoming new energy stimulus package, said Li Junfeng, deputy director of Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)

The NDRC and other ministries are drafting a stimulus program for China’s new energy industry.

China wind companies poised for green policy boost

China’s ambitious plan to increase wind power capacity could attract up to $150 billion in investment, but Beijing will have to get serious about revamping regulations and building much needed infrastructure. China is set to raise its wind power capacity to 100 gig watts (GW) by 2020, eight times its current level and more than Britain’s entire current power capacity, as part of a stimulus package aimed at boosting renewable energy.

Shares of wind firms such as China High Speed Transmission (CHST), the country’s biggest maker of wind turbine gearboxes, have risen over 60 percent this year on expectations China will soon unveil more incentives to develop wind energy.

China, the world’s second biggest energy consumer, is also the top greenhouse gas polluter, and the threat of climate change is driving Beijing to take a series of initiatives to restrain the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by power plants.

"We see wind as the best investment option, as it is the world’s most commercial green energy," said Nomura analyst Clarisse Pan, who expects China’s wind industry growing at up to 24 percent a year through 2020.

While private funding for wind projects is expected to soar, new transmission lines will have to be constructed as more wind power farms are built.

And faced with tough regulatory hurdles, some firms might be discouraged and hold off investments, making it difficult for China to set its targets.

"The market is too unstable (for us) to take the risk," said Suzlon Energy China chief executive Paulo Fernando Soares, referring to government’s large-scale project tenders where foreign firms like Suzlon are struggling to compete with local companies.

India’s Suzlon is the world’s fifth-largest wind turbine maker.

Cash perks and tax breaks for wind projects spurred growth in China’s wind sector, attracting over $2 billion in investment from the world’s biggest wind firms including Denmark’s Vestas, Spain’s Gamesa and GE Energy over the past five years.

China’s rise to become the world’s fourth largest wind power producer benefited local wind firms le turbine makers Sinovel Wind, Goldwind Science and Technology, and Dongfang Electric. Together they now account for over 50 percent of a market once dominated by foreign firms.

Analysts believe that China’s long-term expansion target for wind power, along with more stimulus measures, will be a catalyst for outperformance for CHST and most domestic wind companies.

CHST, which makes gearboxes for GE and German wind farm builders like Nordex and REpower Systems, is seen as a clear winner from the stimulus, owing to its China market leadership.

"The demand for wind power will remain strong in the next decade, leading to a robust business environment for CHST," said CIMB-GK analyst Keith Li, who forecast the company’s revenues to rise 36 percent a year over the next three years.

Analysts also expect the small wind farm builders like China WindPower and China Power New Energy to benefit as wind turbine prices fall, electricity tariffs rise and tax rebates kick in.

China’s wind power generation has doubled in the last year and is expected to surpass nuclear within a decade as China seeks to wean itself off cheap but dirty coal.

There are hurdles ahead, however. Most investors want to see clarity in regulations for project biddings and the lack of investment in power grid infrastructure and transmission lines may hold up some projects.

Although provisions were laid out to regulate the wind-power grid price, there are mixed views about open tenders and whether they drive prices below a level sustainable for many projects.

"We cannot say that we feel that every bidding process is fair. Sometimes the results are very surprising," said Goldwind chief financial officer Yu Danke.

Wind tariffs at 0.6 yuan a kilowatt-hour are 10-20 percent lower than those in major European countries like Germany, said Nomura’s Pan, adding that Chinese projects generate returns of only 6-7 percent, compared to thermal power’s 13 percent.

Energy from coal, which is the source for 80 percent of the nation’s energy output, is sold at about 0.4 yuan a kwh.

Beijing also places more emphasis on companies meeting capacity than ensuring the actual flow of power, meaning productivity is lower than in other markets such as the United States.

Another challenge for China is that much of its wind energy capacity is located in Inner Mongolia, Gansu and the northwest province of Xinjiang, which are thousands of kilometers away from the east coast where most of the energy demand lies.

Despite the hurdles, few firms or investors are prepared to turn their backs on Chinese wind.

"There are things we don’t like but the market is too significant," said Soares.

China commits to offshore renewable energy

China is planning to construct a number of 10 GW wind power bases in the coming years, in a bid to further boost the development of the country’s renewable energy industry, the country’s top energy official said recently.

Zhang Guobao, administrator of the National Energy Administration, said: "We have worked out the strategy of building large (wind power) bases and integrating them into the mainstream power grid in order to speed up the pace of wind power development in the country".

Vigorously developing renewable energy, including wind power, forms part of the country’s ongoing strategy to contribute to the global campaign for combating climate change.

Currently, the world’s installed capacity of wind power has reached 120 GW, and wind power has become an essential part of the world’s energy structure, said Zhang, who is also a minister-level vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Although a developing country, China places special emphasis on increasing its use of renewable energy such as wind power. By the end of 2008, the country’s installed capacity of wind power had hit over 10 GW. The Chinese government also released the Renewable Energy Law in 2005 to provide strong legal support to the development of renewable energy in the country.

As part of the estimation in Medium and Long-Term Development Plan for Renewable Energy in China, issued by National Development and Reform Commission in September 2007, the total exploitable potential wind power resources in the country could reach over 1,000 GW, of which onshore wind power resources would provide about 300 GW with offshore wind power resources around 700GW.

To better use wind power resources, Zhang has called for strong efforts to be made to develop offshore wind power resources as offshore wind energy offers higher wind speeds, no occupancy of land resources and smaller impact on the environment.

To date, the EU has already made great efforts to develop offshore wind power and considers it the main priority in the wind energy area.

"China has very long coastlines and vast oceanic areas, providing very good conditions for offshore wind power development", he noted.

The economically well-developed eastern areas of the country suffer from a shortage of fossil fuels, but enjoy sufficient offshore wind power resources. "It is particularly important to develop offshore wind resources to power the economic growth in these areas," he added.

Shi Lishan, deputy director general of the New and Renewable Energy Department of the National Energy Administration, as well as program director of China Renewable Energy Scale-up Program, said that compared with onshore wind power, offshore wind power generation entails more complicated working conditions, tougher technical requirements and greater difficulties in installation.

All these bring new challenges to turbine manufacturing, project construction, operation and management.

In addition, more attention must be paid to offshore wind power project planning in order to maintain a harmonious relationship with other sectors such as harbors, navigation channels and offshore breeding facilities, and to ensure protection of the environment.

Shi therefore considers it important to draft regulations on offshore wind farm location and environmental impact.

The construction of the Shanghai East Sea Bridge Wind Power Plant has marked a good start for development of the country’s offshore wind power generation.

The first set of 34 wind power turbines for the country’s first offshore wind power farm began the construction in March this year. The 2.3 billion yuan ($336.56 million) project is expected to generate 267 GWh of electricity annually, and will supply clean power to the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

China eyes 20% renewable energy by 2020

China plans to dramatically increase its use of wind and solar power, aiming to generate up to one fifth of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, a senior official told Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

"We are now formulating a plan for development of renewable energy," Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice-chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, said in an interview in London published Wednesday.

"We can be sure we will exceed the 15 percent target. We will at least reach 18 percent. Personally I think we could reach the target of having renewables provide 20 percent of total energy consumption."

China’s stated goal is for 15 percent of its energy consumption in 2020 to come from renewable sources, which Beijing says include large hydropower projects and nuclear plants.

The Guardian reported Zhang as saying that a significant part of China’s economic stimulus package would be invested into low-carbon investment, and that accompanying reforms would see increased demand for renewable energy.

"Due to the impact of the global financial crisis, people are all talking about green and sustainable development," Zhang told the paper.

"Enterprises and government at all levels are showing more enthusiasm for the development of solar for power generation, and the Chinese government is now considering rolling out more stimulus policies for the development of solar power."

US climate envoy Todd Stern met with top Chinese officials in Beijing this week to press for a commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions under the next treaty on global warming, to be hammered out in Copenhagen in December.

In a meeting on Monday, Vice Premier Li Keqiang reiterated to Stern that developing countries like China should be held to a different standard, according to a statement posted on the Chinese foreign ministry’s website.

Zhang said China was pursuing a "constructive and a positive role" in negotiations for Copenhagen, and as part of the agreement, developing countries would have to pursue a "sustainable development path."

He added that China was open to the idea of limits on the carbon intensity of its economy, or setting restrictions on its emissions per unit of output.