China has potential to be world’s biggest wind energy market by 2020

Press release - 2005-11-06
On the eve of the Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference (BIREC)(1), a new report released by the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) and sponsored by Greenpeace and the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) shows that China could at least double its current wind energy target for 2020.

Around 100 Chinese college students and Greenpeace volunteers form the Chinese character for wind ('Feng') at the Capital University of Economics and Business sportsground. At the heart of the Chinese character the volunteers form a wind turbine. The activity marked the opening of the Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference (Nov 7 and 8) and to show the students' support for wind power.

Around 100 Chinese college students and Greenpeace volunteers form the Chinese character for wind ('Feng') at the Capital University of Economics and Business sportsground. At the heart of the Chinese character the volunteers form a wind turbine. The activity marked the opening of the Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference (Nov 7 and 8) and to show the students' support for wind power.

Energy Bureau Director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Xu Dingming said: "The development of renewable energy plays a crucial strategic role in the power supply of China. Wind energy growth in China is now on a fast track and globally we believe that wind power will become the primary alternative energy in the future."

According to the CREIA report, Wind Force 12 in China, China's current wind energy plan is to reach 20 Gigawatts (GW) (2) by 2020. Germany, the world wind energy leader today, has just under 17GW. However experts within the Chinese industry believe that 40GW can be delivered within 15 years; rising to ten times this by 2050. This scale of wind power would need 20,000 typical modern wind turbines by 2020 and the investment generated could be worth USD 40 billion; putting China on track to become the world's biggest wind energy market by 2020.

The report goes on to highlight the full extent of China's total wind energy resources.

Li Junfeng, Director of CREIA and the report's lead author said, "According to the China Meteorological Administration there is enough viable wind resource in China to power the whole country completely. The capacity of wind potential in viable windy locations in China could match current total national capacity of all China's existing power stations combined, four times over."

Greenpeace and the EWEA co-sponsored the report, which was produced by CREIA after they were inspired by the renewable energy vision laid out in European reports like the original Wind Force 12. Both Greenpeace and EWEA have been involved in consultations on China's first Renewable Energy Law, which comes into force on January 1 and is widely expected to mark the take off of the Chinese wind industry.

Steve Sawyer of Greenpeace said: "Our collective future depends upon us helping China develop wind power and other clean energy technologies faster than 'business as usual'. Climate change and energy security demand it. We will only avoid dangerous climate change if the rich countries get their own energy house in order and reduce emissions dramatically while at the same time assisting not only China, but the whole of the developing world to meet their energy needs sustainably. It's time for the world to support China and put Chinese wind power on an even faster track."

EWEA President, Prof. Arthouros Zervos (3) said, "EWEA is working with our partners at CREIA to help facilitate wind energy development in China. This first comprehensive Chinese industry report shows a better path is possible for China's energy future. Wind power is already delivering the goods for millions of people worldwide; China is rapidly becoming one the world's most important wind energy markets, there is major potential here for growth."

To mark the launch of the report and celebrate the coming of the international conference to Beijing, Chinese Greenpeace volunteers staged a welcoming event at Beijing's Capital University of Economics and Business. One hundred volunteers lay on the ground to form the shape of a giant Chinese character 'feng' meaning 'wind'. In front of the human wind symbol were banners in English and Chinese calling for 'Clean Energy Now'. The event follows several weeks of campus advocacy calling young people in China to support renewable energy via the multilingual website www.surewind.org.

CREIA is the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association and brings together national and international project developers and investors; bridges regulatory authorities and the industry; and works to accelerate the development of Chinese renewable energy.

EWEA, the European Wind Energy Association, is the voice of the European wind industry. The combined strength of over 230 members from 40 countries makes EWEA the world's largest renewable energy association. Its members include manufacturers who cover 98% of the global market, component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, developers, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies and consultants.

Other contacts:

Yu Jie, Greenpeace China Climate and Energy Campaigner: + 86 10 6554 6931 Ext. 128
Wang Xiaojun (Tom), Greenpeace China Communications: +86 10 6554 6931 Ext. 151

Notes:

(1) BIREC is the global renewable energy conference that follows on from the April 2004 Bonn conference. The hosting of the conference by China is significant; indicating China’s continued active role in global clean energy development; following China’s ambitious targets for renewable energy announced at Bonn; and preceding the imminent coming into force of China’s first Renewable Energy Law.

(2) A gigawatt (GW) is a unit of generating capacity. It represents 1000 megawatts (MW) or 1 million kilowatts (kW). Electricity output is measured in kW, MW or GW hours; which are what you get with one GW, MW or kW of generating capacity running at maximum for one hour. A typical large scale conventional power station is around 1200 MW or 1.2 GW.

(3) Prof. Arthouros Zervos, President of EWEA, GWEC and EREC, is also Vice-Chairman of REN21. During the BIREC 2005, he will be chairing the Wind Manufacturers Panel of the Business Forum. Professor Zervos has more than two decades of high-level expertise in policy, science, research and technology across the European renewable energy sector. He has led the key European renewable energy bodies.and has acted as policy advisor to Governments, EU bodies and policy fora.

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