IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - 26

Dramatic Growth of
Wind Power in China
Up Until Today
Wind power has witnessed a quick and immense growth
since the Renewable Energy Law took effect in 2006. The
installed base of wind generation has grown by over 40 times
from 2006 to 2015, with an annual average increase of 45%.
In 2010, the National Energy Administration (NEA) issued
an explicit plan for building eight 10-GW-level wind power
bases in Gansu, Xinjiang, Hebei, Jilin, Inner Mongolia (east
and west), Shandong, and Jiangsu. By 2014, China's installed
wind capacity had reached 95.8 GW. In the northern part of
the country, high levels of penetration, in terms of the percentage of local power generation, were reached. The installed
capacity of wind power exceeded 30% of total installed generation in East Inner Mongolia and Northern Hebei.
As wind power continues to develop rapidly in China, the
following characteristics have emerged:
✔ In some areas with abundant wind resources, wind
power has developed very fast and reached high penetrations, in terms of both the fraction of installed capacity and the fraction of energy generated.
✔ Wind power is highly concentrated in some regions
of China. For example, the Dunhuang 750-kV transformer substation in the northwest power grid handles
more than 3.5 GW of wind power in total.
✔ Wind farms are generally connected to the high-voltage power grid. Over 90% of wind farms in China are
connected to the power grid at 110 kV and above, and
over 50% are connected at 220 kV and above.
✔ Multiple wind farms tend to be located in clusters or
bases that are interconnected to the power grid in a
hub-and-spoke topology. These clusters of wind farms
often have total installed ratings well in excess of 1 GW.

Development Trends
China has abundant wind energy potential that is ripe for
development in many territories. The growth of wind power

3,000,000
Wind
PV and CSP

2,500,000
2,000,000
1,500,000
1,000,000

In 2020, 307 GW

500,000

Examining Incidents with
Widespread Wind Turbine Trips
The large-scale and centralized development of wind power
intensifies the coupling between the power system and wind
power, which increases the risks of cascading failures involving wind turbines during system
faults. Many wind turbine outages
have taken place in China since
2011, the initiation of which have
been attributed to nearby power
grid faults or single-phase faults
inside of wind farms. In these inciIn 2040, 2,056 GW
dents, large numbers of wind turbines tripped off and disconnected
from the power grid due to the low
voltages on the power grid during and after short circuit faults.
Another reason for widespread
tripping lies with the high-voltage
protection of the wind turbines.
High voltage in the wind farms

20

1
20 1
1
20 3
1
20 5
1
20 7
1
20 9
2
20 1
2
20 3
2
20 5
2
20 7
2
20 9
3
20 1
3
20 3
3
20 5
3
20 7
3
20 9
4
20 1
4
20 3
4
20 5
47
20
49

0

fits well with the expectation of future sustainable economic
development and the accompanying increase in energy
demand. Both of these should lead to a continued rapid
development of wind power.
According to the conclusions of "High Renewable Energy
Penetration Scenario and Roadmap Study, 2050 in China,"
conducted in 2015 by the Energy Research Institute on
behalf of the National Development and Reform Commission, plans call for increasing wind power nameplate capacity to 2.4 TW by the year 2050 and solar nameplate capacity
to 2.7 TW. Wind power production and solar power production would then total 9,660 TWh or 64% of power generation
production. These goals are shown in Figure 1.
Until 2020, China's wind power development will remain
focused on on-shore wind projects, supplemented with offshore demonstration projects. Annual new additions are
anticipated to reach 25-30 GW/year of capacity. By 2020,
total installed wind power nameplate capacity is projected
to be 250-300 GW, accounting for 11% of electric power
installed capacity and meeting 5% of the annual energy
demand. From 2020 to 2040, rapid growth is expected for
both wind and solar power development. By 2030, the wind
power market is expected to expand to a total of more than
1.1 TW, split between a combination of on- and off-shore
projects. Annual projections of newly installed capacity total
approximately 80 GW or 50% of the newly installed capacity nationwide. Through 2050, on-shore wind power remains
focused on the construction of large wind power clusters
in North China, Northeast China, and Northwest China,
accounting for over 70% of the total wind power capacity.
Plans for off-shore wind power call for development mainly
in Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang, with a total
capacity of 300 GW.

figure 1. A renewable energy development plan in China.
26

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november/december 2016



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