Saturday, November 05, 2005

Wind could blow energy crisis away

Wind could blow energy crisis away
By Liang Chao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-04 05:51

A recent study has ascertained that China's offshore wind power generation capacity could be as high as 750 million kilowatts.

Such a huge potential energy reserve will help China enjoy the benefits of renewable resources, provided they can be well exploited in the years to come, said the study, which will be continued as a nationwide assessment on wind energy resources and development.

"The amount is almost three times higher than the inland wind resources," said the study, carried out by the National Climate Centre (NCC).

Most wind power is currently generated off the coast of Guangdong, Fujian and Jiangsu provinces by 10-metre-high wind turbines.

However, exploitation of offshore wind power is still a relatively new effort, despite the country being plagued by shortage of power supply, and increasing pollution.

Wind energy use is widespread in some developed countries, but in China it accounts for less than 1 per cent of the total.

The study found that China's installed capacity of wind generators, by the end of last year, was only 764,000 kilowatts, or 0.17 of the total energy capacity.

In Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, despite rich wind resources, the installed capacity of wind generators was only 125,500 kilowatts, just 2 per cent of the total requirement.

It is estimated that, by 2020, China's installed capacity of wind generators will reach 20 million kilowatts, 4 to 10 per cent of the total generation, accordint to Luo Yong, deputy director of NCC.

By then, the world's generation of wind power is scheduled to make up of 12 per cent of the total electricity production, he said, adding, over the past five years, the sector's annual growth rate has averaged 35 per cent worldwide.

To realize China's own goals in the sector by that date, and catch up with developments worldwide, China needs an overall assessment of its wind energy resources and utilization, Luo said.

Before the end of this year the assessment, funded by World Bank and the Global Environment Facility, will help China select sites for 20 key wind generation projects, each with an installed capacity of at least 100,000 kilowatts, he added.

"The assessment is a significant help in exploiting and utilizing climate resources, particularly wind energy," Qin Dahe, top official of China Meteorological Administration told the World Meteorological Organization's Technical Conference on Climate as a Resource, which ended yesterday in Beijing.