Wind Power

• Worldwide capacity of wind energy is
approaching 100 000 MW
• Costs of generating electricity from
wind today are only about 10% of
what they were 20 years ago due to
advances in turbine technology
• At well chosen locations wind power
can compete with conventional
sources of energy

Advantages of modern multimegawatt turbines (repowering) • More wind power from the same area of land • Less wind turbines • Higher efficiency. lower costs • Enhanced appearance – turbines rotate at a lower speed & are more visually pleasing • Better grid integration – connection method is similar to conventional power plants .

Concerns • Huge turbines located nearby will blight homes & affect property values • Hum of turbines disturbing people & wildlife • Skylines in scenically beautiful areas ruined • Turbines can kill birds – migratory flocks tend to follow strong wind • Affect TV reception • Cost of investing in wind energy is high compared to the alternatives .

Wind China’s fastest growing renewable energy resource .

 according to new statistics from the China Electricity Council • Thermal power use (coal) grew by only about 0.3% in China during 2012.  . an addition of roughly 12 terawatt hours (TWh) more electricity. wind power production expanded by about 26 TWh. In contrast.• China’s wind power production actually increased more than coal power production for the first time ever in 2012.

as well as government policies and public concerns about air pollution.• Total amount of wind power production in China is brought to 100 TWh. • Coal still accounts for 79% of electricity production in China. . but is challenged by competition from cleaner energy.

and incremental wind electricity production exceeded coal growth for the first time ever • In the same year. unused wind electricity hit record highs while wind not connected to the grid was roughly half the size of Germany’s fleet . 13 gigawatts (GW) were added to the system. Largest yet most inefficient wind power system in the world? • In 2012.

• A third of the turbines in 2010 were languishing unconnected. however.Disadvantages • Wind projects are typically far from city and industrial centres where electricity is needed. unable to sell their electricity . and transmission investments to connect to the grid did not keep up pace.


•  China had until mid-2011 a unique policy that exacerbated the wind-grid mismatch: • all projects smaller than 50 MW could be approved directly by local governments. related to grid access. in particular. bypassing more rigorous feasibility analyses.  .

you might still face hurdles when trying to transmit your power to load centres. so if wind is significantly higher than forecasted 24 hours before. the difference may be curtailed (or “spilled”) to maintain grid stability. • Grid operators make decisions a day ahead on which thermal plants to turn on. .• If you are a wind farm owner and have successfully connected to the grid.

grid operators will accept wind as much as they can ramp up and down other generators to maintain supply and demand balance. as happens in ERCOT (Texas’ grid) and northwest China. • To manage hourly variation.• If wind is at the end of a congested transmission line. The thermodynamics of fossil fuel plants place limits on this flexibility . the grid operator may also have to curtail.

China’s curtailment problems are much more severe than for its peers • This difference is largely. attributable to two factors: China’s mix is coal-heavy which is more sluggish when changing output than. though not exclusively. natural gas. for example. .


• A product of the partial deregulation (1997 and 2002) . .the establishment of “generation quotas” for coal plants: minimum annual generation outputs fixed by province loosely to recover costs and ensure a profit. • There may be messy politics if wind cuts into the quotas of existing plants.Political fragmentation • Idiosyncrasies of China’s power sector governance results in spilled wind.

among others. . • Targeted reforms: • The guiding document for power sector reform published in 2002 (State Council [2002] No. 5): 1. allow for retail price competition and direct electricity contracts between producers and large consumers. open up inter-regional electricity markets. 3. establish a wholesale market in each dispatch region to encourage competition in generation.

• Better implementation of existing regulations (such as a mandate that grids give precedence to renewables over thermal plants) • additional requirements on wind forecasting and automated turbine control. and compensation schemes of coal generators for ramping services. • Due to these policies and central government pressure to better accommodate renewables : all provinces except Hebei saw an increase in utilization hours in the first half of 2013 .

This will put additional stresses on the nation’s purse and power grid. which is roughly 5% of total production under business-asusual. . over twice in percentage terms of current levels. typical wind integration approaches such as increased transmission are important but not sufficient. • China aims to generate at least 390 TWh of electricity from wind in 2020.conclusion • Due to the unique mix of power plants and regulation in China.

• How China chooses to face these conflicts and grow its wind sector – through a combination of more investment and targeted reforms – will have unavoidable implications for the long-term viability of wind energy in the country. .

Sources • el-davidson/259871/transforming-chin a-s-grid-integrating-wind-energy-itblows-away • rtrapier/397011/when-wind-doesn-t-b low .org/climate/201 3/03/20/1744741/chinas-wind-power-pr oduction-increased-more-than-coal-po wer-did-for-first-time-ever-in-2012/ • http://theenergycollective.

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