Wind energy and hydropower are the two main forms of renewable energy which China is planning to use to develop the share of clean energies in its energy mix, with a target of 15% by 2020. Large-scale wind energy generation is one of the strategic choices in order to meet growing demand for energy resources. At the end of 2008, the total installed wind capacity stood at 12 GW.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has adopted an ambitious program to develop the wind sector, with an installed capacity target of 100 or 150 GW by 2020. Most wind farms are located in the provinces of Inner Mongolia and Hebei, in the north of the country. The mountainous region of Yunnan has favorable meteorological conditions with strong air currents, which are conducive to the installation of wind farms.
The project has created the following infrastructure:
- A wind farm with a capacity of 30.75 MW with forty-one 750 kW wind turbines (the annual capacity integrated into the grid stood at 81 GWh in 2009);
- A 110 kV transformer substation.
By comparison with a coal-fired power plant, the implementation of this project lowers its annual consumption by 24,000 tons and reduces the emissions of the various gaseous pollutants: CO2 (approximately 50,000 tons), SO2 (390 tons) and NOx (220 tons).
This pilot project is for the highest wind farm in China and the first installed in Yunnan. This makes it a reference for future programs in this field.