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Future of Green Energy in China Rests in Wind Energy

China´s economic boom has also brought with it a huge demand for energy. If these needs were to be met only with coal, this would have a severe impact on the environment. Against this background, there is strong interest in environmentally-friendly energy sources, not least with the aim of diversifying the energy mix and overcoming China´s one-sided dependence on coal. The Chinese government´s aim is to supply 15 percent of its primary energy needs from regenerative sources by 2020. Today that figure is around 7.5 percent.

Green energy is also helping the Chinese government to meet its social responsibilities. Around 30 million people in the poor and remote areas of the country still do not have access to electricity. The use of decentralised eco-power stations is an effective and comparatively cost-effective way of bringing electricity to these regions.

At the beginning of 2006 China strengthened its call to use more regenerative energies by passing a law. This obliges the larger electricity producers in the country, which together have a capacity of over five gigawatts, to generate five percent of the energy they produce from regenerative sources by 2010. By 2020 this proportion is set to rise to ten percent.

Most hopes in green energy in China are pinned on wind energy. Because the country is so large and has a long coastline, it has good wind-energy resources. According to estimates by the Chinese Meteorological Research Institute, the useable wind-energy resources on the mainland amount to 253 gigawatts. In addition, the Institute puts the power potentially generated by offshore wind-energy systems at around 750 gigawatts, bringing the total potential to around 1,000 gigawatts.

Another benefit of opting for increased use of wind power is the well advanced and comparatively inexpensive technology that is now available. Also, turbines can be concentrated together in wind parks generating significant output, which facilitates the logistics for the operators.

In recent years there has been notable expansion in the Chinese wind-energy market. Between 2005 and 2006 the capacity for wind-power systems in China more then doubled. According to the Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA) at the end of the year the number of wind turbines in China was around 3,300, producing a total output of around 2.6 gigawatts. The goal for 2020 is around 30 gigawatts.

So far foreign manufacturers have dominated the market, led by companies from Denmark, and then Germany. Smaller, less powerful systems are now being manufactured by Chinese producers themselves. The trend, however, is towards large systems, some producing well above 1.5 megawatts. And almost 90 percent of these systems currently have to be imported.

IFAT CHINA 2008 is a chance to obtain an overview of the situation on the ground in Chinese environmental market. It is an opportunity to get to know the key players and pave the way for successful new business.

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