Wind Power

China’s Wind Power Investment Declines in 2016 for First Time

The China Electricity Council recently published the 2016-2017 Analysis and Forecast Report on Demand and Supply of China’s Power Industry, revealing that the country’s installed grid-connected wind power capacity had reached about 150 million kW by the end of 2016, advancing by just 13.2 percent from a year earlier and accounting for 9 percent of the total installed capacity.

Last year, the country’s wind power investment declined by 25.3 percent year on year, representing a decrease for the first time, with investment in western and northeastern China declining by 49.7 percent and 46.8 percent year on year, respectively, while, in eastern and central China, it grew by 35.1 percent and 13.1 percent year on year, the report reveals.

Grid-connected wind power generation grew 30.1 percent year on year, while utilization of wind power equipment reached 1,742 hours, up 18 hours from a year earlier. During the full year of 2016, about 17.4 million kW of installed grid-connected wind power capacity were newly added, down 16.8 million kW from a year earlier.

Last year, China’s total power consumption grew by 5 percent year on year to 5.92 trillion kWh, with the growth rate moving up by 4 percentage points from a year earlier. For the four quarters, year on year growth was 3.2 percent, 2.1 percent, 7.8 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively. Growth in the consumption of power by the manufacturing sector grew 2.5 percent year on year for the year, an improvement of 3.1 percentage points year on year driven by equipment upgrades and a restructuring across the sector, while use of power by the service industry rose 11.2 percent year on year. In addition, residential usage reached 10.8 percent year on year, up 5.8 percentage points from a year earlier. In the third quarter, the growth soared 18.4 percent, the highest quarterly growth in the last ten years.

In 2017, China is expected to experience a slowdown in growth of electrical consumption, with newly added installed capacity for the full year expected to reach a little over 100 million kW. The country’s installed power generation capacity may reach the 1.75 billion kW mark by the end of the year, with the proportion coming from non-fossil sources growing to about 38 percent, according to the report. In addition, the average utilization hours of all power plants across China is expected to reach about 3,600 hours, with those based on thermal energy sources forecast to further decline to about 4,000 hours.