Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Wind power could top hydro in China, expert says - Yahoo! News

Wind power could top hydro in China, expert says - Yahoo! News: "Wind power could top hydro in China, expert says Tue Mar 7, 6:46 AM ET

BEIJING (Reuters) - Wind turbines may one day replace hydropower as China's second-largest source of electricity, if the country continues with a drive to boost renewable generation, a Chinese energy expert said on Tuesday.

China has the potential to install up to 100 gigawatts of wind power, equivalent to nearly one fifth of its total current generating capacity, said Wang Weicheng, an energy professor at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University.
The turbines will likely provide the country with more energy than its nuclear stations in 20 to 30 years, and may become more important than China's large collection of hydropower dams by the middle of the century, he said.
'By 2020, wind power capacity is predicted to reach 30 gigawatts,' Wang told a meeting on the sidelines of China's annual parliament where he was reporting on renewable energy.
'Around the mid-21st century, wind power is very likely to take the place of hydropower as the second-largest source of electric power generation after coal,' he added, but did not say how he reached these forecasts.
In 2005, China got around 15 percent of its electricity from dams including the world's largest hydropower project, the Three Gorges Dam.
But that year it also added 500 megawatts of new wind power capacity, and leading wind turbine manufacturers are keen to build a presence in the market -- although China needs to focus on developing its own technology as well, Wang added.
'We can buy the facilities from those companies, but to develop our own brands...is more important,' he said. "