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Monday, January 22, 2007

Eye On China: China to Spend $5.8 Billion to Triple Wind-Power Generation

Chinese government raises wind energy target to 8,000 megawatts by 2010, up from 5,000 megawatts

China, the world's biggest energy consumer after the U.S., plans to invest 45.6 billion yuan ($5.8 billion) to more than triple wind-power generation capacity by 2010, an energy industry official said.

The government raised its target for installed windpower capacity to 8,000 megawatts (MW) by 2010, up from 5,000 MW, Li Junfeng, secretary-general of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, said today. China added 80 percent in wind-power generation capacity last year to 2,300 megawatts from 1,300 megawatts, the National Development and Reform Commission said Jan. 5.

"The government's preferential policies and companies' willingness will enable us to exceed the original target,'' Li told reporters in Beijing.

As reported previously, China's National Renewable Energy Law sets a national renewable energy target of 15% of China's energy mix by 2020 and sets in place tariffs to support renewable energy development. In order to accomplish this target, China plans to spend 1.5 trillion yuan ($193 billion) in the next 15 years to increase the use of renewable resources and cut the world's fourth-largest economy's reliance on coal and oil.

In October 2006, China also implemented a small (0.1 cents/kWh) but unprecedented dedicated renewable energy fee in all electricity rates across the country. The money raised by the small fee would be used to cover the portion of the above market costs of renewable energy development and will help the country meet its renewable energy targets.

The mix of strong public policy support and industry investment seems to be working in China, as renewable energy development, particularly wind power development, is on the rise.

Official government plans call for continued rapid development after the 8,000 MW by 2010 target, calling for 20 gigawatts (GW) by 2020. Experts within the Chinese industry believe that China's vast wind potential will allow 40 GW to be delivered within 15 years; rising to ten times this by 2050.

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