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China: Opportunities in Wind Power

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windpower1According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), China added 3,449MW of wind power generation capacity in 2007, representing an investment of over $5 billion dollars U.S. At the end of 2007, China reached a total installed capacity of 6,050 MW. The electricity market analysts estimate that Chinese total potential wind power generating capacity to be around 750,000 MW with just offshore farms, and Chinese policymakers have set an ambitious goal of putting in place 30,000 MW of wind power by 2020.

 

China has set a renewable energy target of 10% of electric power capacity by 2010.The main priority areas for China are in the solar, wind, bio-fuel, bio-mass, small hydroelectric and other renewable energy sectors, including improving investment, growth, local and national laws and regulations, and industry. The players in this market include relatively large-scale energy companies such as China Power Investment, Datang International Power and Huaneng Power (NYSE:HNP), and their comparatively strong financial position weakens supplier power. China Longyuan Electric Power Group, for example, operates 32 wind farms in China with a cumulative capacity of 780MW, or approximately 30% of total wind generating capacity in China.

HNP has a total wind power capacity of about 100 MW and has obtained approval for new wind power projects recently. However, the capacity is very low as compared to its total capacity of about 40,000 MW. So there is strong dependency on coal fired power production in short term to medium term. The total power capacity of China is 793,000 MW and 80 % of this capacity is coal-fired. Hence, it is very important for investors to understand the market for coal in China.



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