China's Wind Power Boom?
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China's Wind Power Boom?

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China is seeking to challenge General Electric and other Western firms in the wind turbine market, a move backed by more than $15 billion in government support.

Already the country with the highest wind power installed capacity, Chinese windmill makers such as Sinovel Wind Group and Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology are planning to set up plants overseas, including in the United States, Bloomberg notes today.

‘China has become the single largest driver for global wind power development. In 2010, every second wind turbine that was added anywhere in the world was installed in China,’ according to Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council.

According to the Council, China’s wind turbines market ‘doubled every year between 2005 and 2009 in terms of total installed capacity, and it has been the world’s largest annual market since 2009.’ Last year, China added 18.9 GW of new wind energy capacity, meaning its total wind power installed capacity jumped to 44.7 GW, more than the United States.

Such growth raises a tantalizing prospect – could wind power become competitive with fossil fuels? Bloomberg suggests it could.

‘A shift to Chinese suppliers could even nudge down the cost of wind power enough for it to compete with coal and natural gas in the US and Europe when the wind is blowing, threatening fossil fuel-based business models at utilities,’ it notes.

‘While US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao both said developing clean energy is a top industrial priority, China is increasingly gaining the manufacturing base for equipment needed to wean their economies from fossil fuels.’

The news comes ahead of China Wind Power 2011, a major conference taking place next week in the country that will consider both China’s and Brazil’s prospects in renewable energies, especially wind power.

While China has to regularly face the ignominy of seeing its cities ranked among the world’s most polluted, Beijing has been stung by criticism that it’s sacrificing the environment for the sake of economic growth. Indeed, last year, China invested some $54.4 billion in clean energy, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts report, far ahead of second-placed Germany ($41.2 billion) and the United States with $34 billion.

‘Countries like China, Germany, Italy and India were attractive to financers because they have national policies that support renewable energy standards, carbon reduction targets and/or incentives for investment and production and that create long-term certainty for investors,’ noted the report, released in March. ‘However, there is ambiguity surrounding clean energy policies in the United States and the United Kingdom, which likely has caused investors to look elsewhere for opportunities.’

Still, as a report in the Financial Times noted today, concerns persist over the safety of China’s wind turbines following a crane collapse this week that saw five people killed.

‘Cranes collapse all the time in China and in other countries. But the recent accident fits into a series of mishaps in China that have renewed concerns about safety and quality standards in the turbine industry,’ the FT notes. ‘Chinese wind farms have also struggled with grid failures, causing large-scale blackouts at least twice this year.’

Still, compared with the problems that blight the country’s coal industry, wind power remains a relatively safe and increasingly attractive option.

Comments
10
jethromayham
September 16, 2012 at 20:14

We need small units that can sustain 6 houses. Would that be practical?

Paige @ Green Global Travel
February 4, 2012 at 01:45

I definitely believe that China will dominate wind power!

Frank
October 17, 2011 at 19:08

China already is dominating equipments producers in solar power, hydra-power and electric cars. There should be no doubt that China will dominate wind power stations productions.

Frank
October 17, 2011 at 19:04

In 1950′s till 1980s, Japanese products faced the same attitude. However, thanks to these attitudes towards their products, Japan’s quality improves.

There is no better quality control measure than these people’s belittleness and humiliations of East Asian’s products.

You already see China’s products improved dramatically in recent years. You will see more and more.

a_canadian_observer
October 17, 2011 at 16:39

@Huang: Thanks but no thanks. We (myself and people I know) have stopped buying chinese made goods, to the best we can. We’re concerned about the quality, safety as well as moral issues when it comes to chinese made goods.

Huang
October 15, 2011 at 22:30

@yangtsup.,
Excellent! The kind of opinions like yours is exactly what China welcomes. They are not only accurate,but they will be serving as a direct reflection of MOST of the products coming out of China. For this, I think the Chinese will appreciate your thoughfulness on this very matter even though your true intent was to release “that something” deep inside youself.
Evidently, the Chinese leaderships at all level have been noticing the same thing you mentioned and efforts were made to encourage more innovation and creativity among Chinese enterprises,technologies related fields,the arts,and other sciences.
Finally, the next phase of developnmental strategy should be emphasized along the line of innovations and creativities. Within a decade or two at the lastest, you will begin to see and enjoy many products “Made In China” that are unique and revolutionary.
P.S. Let us salute to the future “Made In China” items everyone will be looking forward to acquire and enjoy.

SCdad07
October 15, 2011 at 16:23

Quoting from other articles:

AP 10/10:
“General Electric Co. is expanding its wind turbine business in India.”

Bloomberg 10/14:
“China has taken on General Electric Co. and Western peers that control the $70 billion wind-turbine market,….That can erode sales and margins for suppliers such as GE and Vestas that already face cutbacks in European subsidies and a 22 percent plunge in turbine prices from their 2008 peak.”

“Turbines marketed by the Western suppliers are increasingly assembled from cheaper parts made elsewhere. Repower Systems SE, Suzlon’s German unit, can reduce costs on average by 15 percent by boosting the share of components from China and India, Chief Executive Officer Andreas Nauen said in June. ”

“Suzlon, the world’s fifth-largest wind turbine manufacturer by capacity, builds 2-megawatt wind turbines in Tianjin and exports components from China for their assembly at the company’s facilities in India, the United States and Germany.”

WSJ 2008 Jul 1:
“The Indian company—the world’s fifth largest wind turbine maker by sales-….
Since it began its push into the US in 2005, Suzlon has secured an 8% share of the US wind market, the world’s fastest growing.”

yang tsup
October 15, 2011 at 09:21

China need to improve its quality and safety standards in order to achieve more reliability when it comes to their technology, as we all know china also produce copy, fake or second-quality products from electronics to garments,

praveen
October 15, 2011 at 06:55

I hope India follows the same example as there are huge power cuts even in industrial cities in India.

Huang
October 15, 2011 at 00:03

Energy will be the priority-one for all developed and developing countries today and far into the future. The source where energy is derived from will be more and more crucial to the costs and benifits equation faced by all countries as the environmental impacts and other visible variables are presenting themselves from weather patterns to not-so-normal changes taken place in recent years around the World.
Nevertherless, coal remains the main source of electricity generating fuel for both China and the US-the two most energy reliant economies today. While natural gas is abunduntly available, the use of coal is still the preffered choice should have to do with cost-effectiveness in the use of coal in power generations.
Nuclear power seems to be another alternative form of energy that is environmentally safe yet the effects of an accident would be far more costly than any other.
Hydropower generations also recently been criticized for their likely environmental impacts. Yet, if properly planned and executed is by by far one of the best and clean way to produce electricity.
Wind-power, they are abundantly available,unless places where the winds never blow which is extremely rare is the talk of recent time. The peoblem with wind-power is
that they require large initial investments and the limited power they are producing at the current technology. Unless the returns on these investements far exceed the costs, only Government(China) is in the business at this junction of wind power generation.
Last but not least, Solar is another form of alternative in solving the energy problems and the China government is investing heavily on solar technolgies besides wind-power.
In sum, the chinese government is merely tackling its energy issues by trying or testing out every forms of power generating means and will likely find the best form of renewable energy production soon. Its call the “trial and errors” approach in smart energy production that put less stress to the environment thanks to many criticisms and allegations from abroad on China’s environmental degradations.

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