May 23, 2018 Read More →

Chinese Government Tackles Wind Curtailment Woes

Bloomberg:

The Chinese government’s moves to ramp up renewable energy consumption have sparked optimism over the future of China Longyuan Power Group Corp., the country’s biggest wind power producer.

Driving the bullishness on Longyuan and other Chinese wind power producers like Huaneng Renewables Corp. and China Datang Corp. Renewable Power Co. is a series of initiatives taken by the government recently to boost renewable energy demand and ease curtailment—a problem caused by overly rapid wind turbine installation and infrastructure bottlenecks. Grid operators have been forced to cut back on purchases as they are unable to fully absorb the intermittent power from renewables such as wind and solar.

China, the world’s largest wind power producer, is considering setting a national target to reduce average wind curtailment rates to less than 10 percent next year and to about 5 percent by 2020, according to an April 12 government policy proposal document. The country is rolling out a clean-energy quota system to require minimum levels of renewable power use, holding regional grids, power distributors and generators responsible. In addition, China is clamping down on the ability of local authorities to plan new wind power projects in regions where the most turbines stand idle, slowing the expansion of the industry to a pace manageable for the electricity grid.

In light of the recent improvement in the overall wind power industry, China is expected to build more wind farms this year to meet rising demand. Zhou Yiyi, a Shanghai-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said she expected China to add 21.3 gigawatts of onshore wind capacity this year, compared with 16.8 gigawatts in 2017.

The idle rate at Longyuan’s wind farms will drop to about 7 percent in 2018 from 10.43 percent last year and 15.76 percent in 2016, President Li Enyi said in March. The company reported a 67 percent rise in net income in the first quarter on higher wind power output.

More: Top China Wind Power Producer Shines as Fewer Turbines Idled

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