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China working to connect idled wind farms to the grid

Development could see rate of wind capacity sitting idle in China fall to as low as 10 per cent this year

China is making progress in cutting idled wind farm capacity and connecting turbines to the grid

China is making progress in connecting idled wind farms to the electricity grid. This is helping to address a roadblock slowing the development of wind power, according to reports.

Jiang Liping, vice president of the State Grid Energy Research Institute, said: “The issue is in the process of improvement, given the efforts made by grid companies,” Bloomberg reports.

The adoption of wind power in China has been damped by the electricity grid’s ability to handle the influx of energy, forcing the government to impose stricter approvals on new projects.

The rate of wind capacity sitting idle could fall to as low as 10 percent this year, compared with 25 percent at the end of 2011, according to Jun Ying, Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s head of research in China.

“It’s the lack of economic incentives that discourage grid companies to take in more renewable power,” said Ying. “It means extra work and costs, but no extra benefits for grid companies to do so.”

China this year plans to add 49GW of renewable energy capacity, including hydropower, to boost power production without increasing its reliance on fossil fuels, the National Energy Administration has said. Installed capacity totaled about 39GW in 2012, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

China added around 16.4GW of wind power last year, 20 per cent less than the previous year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. This year, wind installations may grow by 16.3GW NEF forecasts. This compares with China’s goal of adding 18GW of wind generation, according to the NEA.

The news follows RET reporting that China’s offshore wind industry is set to enter an era of large scale development.