Science

China Goes Bullish on Wind Energy: Builds 2 Wind Turbines Every Hour

By | Sep 21, 2016 03:49 PM EDT
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China wind turbines

China is reportedly building two wind turbines every hour. (Photo : GettyImages/FengLi)

China is carrying out the world's biggest turbine installation program. According to the International Energy Agency, the country is building two wind turbines every hour.

China would soon be able to meet its entire annual increase in energy demand through wind turbines. However, the country's wind turbines have to compete with coal-fired generators for access to the grid.

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According to the BBC, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has since expressed concerns about China's excess coal-fired power stations. This excess requires China to turn off its wind turbines for 15 percent of the time of a year. This is drastically higher than 1 -2 percent of the time in a year that an average European wind farm is forced to stop generating power.

"China has now a clear over-supply. In the province of Gansu, 39 percent of wind energy had to be curtailed (turned off because there is not enough capacity on the grid)," the agency stated. The agency has advised China to design a plan to phase-out its coal power plants which are mostly old and inefficient.

CNBC reported that China accounted for 36 percent of global investments in renewable resources last year. The country also plans to impose a freeze on the building of new coal-powered plants until 2018.  In 2015, China installed 30,000 MW of new wind energy plants. It is highly likely that Chinese authorities overestimated the increase in electricity demand.

China had long supported the construction of coal plants by providing easy finance and assistance. However, now the country has turned its focus to clean energy.

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