China targets a quarter of their electricity from wind by 2030


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China is on track to generate more than a quarter of its electricity from wind power by 2030, and the figure could rise to nearly a third with power sector reforms, a new study has found.

Within 14 years, more new generating capacity – mostly clean energy – will come online in China than currently exists in the whole of the US, further cementing the country’s image as a burgeoning green giant…

Valerie Karplus, a co-author of the study…said “China is now the world’s wind energy leader by a fairly large margin…”

Investment in China’s renewable supplies may be less of an immediate priority than integrating the country’s variable wind capacity, due to an outdated transmission system hooked on inflexible and predictable energy flows.

At present, local economic incentives favour inflexible suppliers, partly because of an annualised system of must-run quotas for coal that spread across much of the country. These entitle operators to contractual guarantees and prevent amendments that reflect marginal price variations…

The Nature Energy paper analyses future energy generation and distribution. “With more extensive reforms leading China to transition to spot markets and allowing electricity providers to reflect the marginal costs of wind generation, China’s clean energy potential could be further increased,” Karplus said.

Building windfarms close to “load centres” where electricity can be easily transferred and used would also make more sense than concentrating them in wind-rich but geographically isolated territories, she added.

I admit I haven’t kept up with month-by-month progress in China’s massive task of replacing the coal used in household heating and cooking – with natural gas. It still looks like much of that conversion will have to rely upon LNG. At least until pipelines are in place from Iran and Russia.

That will eliminate half the demand for coal.

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