China added 18.9 GW of new wind power capacity, thereby reaching a total installed capacity of 44.7 GW, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association and the Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA). This figure is substantially higher than the initial estimate released earlier this year.
These new numbers for China also result in revised figures for global wind power growth in 2010, with the new capacity added over the year amounting to 38.3 GW (close to the 2009 market), taking the total to 197 GW, which represents a 24% growth.
‘The installed capacity of 44.7 GW includes turbines [that] have been grid connected and are delivering electricity, even if they have not yet completed the commissioning and acceptance procedure, which can take several months,’ says Qin Haiyan, secretary general of CWEA. ‘This explains the much reported 'gap' between installation and grid connection which is often reported from China. In other markets, it is common practice to include all turbines as soon as they are grid connected and producing electricity.’
China's wind market doubled every year between 2005 and 2009 in terms of total installed capacity, and it has been the world's largest annual market since 2009. In 2010, China overtook the U.S. as the country with the most installed wind energy capacity.
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the growth in installed capacity was driven by a record level of investment in wind power in China, which exceeded $20 billion in 2009. In the third quarter of 2010, China's investment in new wind power projects accounted for half of the global total.
SOURCE: Global Wind Energy Council