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China is four-time global wind market leader

China is four-time global wind market leader
China overtook the U.S. as the global leader in wind market in 2009

China remains the global leader in the wind market, installing over one third of the onshore wind capacity worldwide in 2012.

For four straight years in a row, China has led the global wind market. The Asian country has maintained top position since 2009, when it first over took the United States.

According to figures from Bloomberg News Energy Finance, the country added 15.9 gigawatts of wind power last year, comprising 35 percent of the world’s new capacity.

The U.S. followed closely with installations of 13.2 GW last year.

China’s achievement was reached despite of an 18 percent drop in annual installations from 2011’s record 19.3 GW. Last year saw several projects deferred due to grid connection problems, causing several companies in the supply chain to suffer from delayed payments and subsidies.

Additionally, China also saw decline by 12 percent to $27 billion in new financial investment in wind.

“2012 was a good year for the Chinese wind industry, considering how tough the environment was,” said Demi Zhu, China wind analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“This year however, project approvals have sped up and we forecast a modest recovery in both financing activity and construction in 2013,” she noted.

Wind energy is now China’s third largest energy resource, surpassing nuclear power and following coal and hydropower (see related story).

Currently, China has 61 GW of cumulative grid-connected wind energy capacity, accounting for 5.3 percent of the nation’s overall nameplate – and produces two percent of its overall electricity.

“The fact that China wind overtook nuclear as a generation source even in its most challenging year of recent times is a testament to the massive scale and momentum of the industry in this country,” stressed Ms. Zhu.

Between 2014 and 2015, an additional 16.6 GW of wind installations is anticipated come online this year, estimated Bloomberg New Energy Finance. With these, China’s wind industry is most likely to hit the Central government’s 2015 target of 100 GW of grid-connected capacity more than a year ahead.

Combining new power generation from all sources in 2012, China surpassed 80 GW – more than the entire power generation capacity of Australia or Mexico. Of which, 50.7 GW was from thermal, 15.5 GW from hydro, 0.7 GW from nuclear and 1.2 GW from solar. – C. Dominguez

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