China trade group could sue over wind power curbs

China‘s wind energy trade body is reportedly considering litigation against several provincial energy ministries in a move aimed at forcing them to comply with laws on wind power utilization.

The Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA) has notified energy ministries in three provinces that it could take legal action in two weeks’ time unless the ministries justify local grids’ curbs on the use of available wind power. à‚ à‚ 

Last week China’s National Energy Administration ordered grid operators to connect all operational renewable power installations that meet technical standards, and it has been legally required for some time that all the wind power China produces must be used by the grid. However, it has emerged that these requirements do not ensure that utilities comply with the law.

According to figures from CWEA, China’s curtailment of wind power due to overcapacity caused estimated losses of RMB18bn ($2.8bn) for the sector.

The chairman of the State Grid, Liu Zhenya, was quoted by the Financial Times as saying that, in part, wind power has been curtailed in some regions because preference must be given to coal-fired power plants which also provide residential heating.

China’s installed wind capacity has almost doubled since 2012, with the nation building over half of the world’s new wind installations in 2015. But 15 per cent of these wind farms are currently idle due to the grid’s inability to accommodate them. According to figures from China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) released in late 2015, 20 per cent of the wind power produced in Inner Mongolia was curtailed, as was 31 per cent in Gansu province.

See also:

China orders grid operators to connect renewables

Image credit: Vladimir Menkov/Wikimedia Commons

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