China added 13 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity in 2009, ahead of both Europe (10.5 GW) and the US (9.9 GW), the Global Wind Energy Council said Wednesday. The country’s overall wind power capacity now stands at 25 GW, yet wind power currently constitutes only 1% of total electrical consumption.
China’s recent accession to the Copenhagen Accords only encourages it to continue advancement of green energy at home, where it intends to develop 100 GW of wind power capacity by 2020. Domestic law dictates that renewable power should have priority access to the electrical grid, but lags in infrastructure developments have limited wind energy’s efficacy in reducing the China’s dependence on fossil fuels.
The development of wind farms has proceeded ahead of schedule following government contract guarantees and subsidies. This provides an ample opportunity for domestic manufacturers and foreign technology developers to profit from state spending, even as the world becomes increasingly reliant upon Chinese-manufactured turbines.
Foreign firms such as General Electric have received contracts to supply Chinese wind energy developers, but the increased demand has proved especially beneficial for state-owned turbine manufacturers, who received tax rebates in 2009. While some efforts have been made to reduce government bias towards domestic players, the likes of Longyuan Power (0916.HK) stand to gain the most in China push for global alternative energy dominance.