Wind Power Curtailment in China Expected to Increase in Second Half of 2016

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Aggregate wind power curtailment across China grew to 32.3 billion kWh during the first seven months of 2016, an increase of 14.8 billion kWh over the same period of 2015, according to data from the National Energy Administration of China (NEA). The number was very close to the 33.9 billion kWh recorded for the whole of 2015. The country’s average wind power curtailment rate grew by 6 percentage points year on year to a record 21 percent.  

In particular, wind power curtailment in the northwestern part of China was 15.5 billion kWh, representing an average curtailment rate of 38.9 percent. In three regions — Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Inner Mongolia — the amount of curtailment for the first six months of the year was equivalent to or exceeded that recorded for the whole of 2015.  Curtailment in Gansu province surpassed that recorded for the first half of 2015. Several factors, including the amount of available heat supply for the upcoming winter and the decline in electricity load, point to the level of curtailment across the entire country showing a further rise during the second half of this year, according to industry analysts.

Statistics show that China’s installed capacity of wind power as a result of the completion of new facilities grew by 9.03 GW to 138 GW during the first seven months of this year. Aggregate wind power production reached 120.9 billion kWh, a rise of 14.8 percent over the same period of 2015. July production jumped 25.9 percent year on year to 14.9 billion kWh.

According to data from the NEA, the country’s grid-connected wind power capacity showed a year on year gain of 30 percent to 1.37 GW during the first half of 2016. Accumulated on-grid electricity from wind totaled some 120 billion kWh, a year on year rise of 23 percent, while the average utilization time of wind farms declined by 85 hours to 917 hours.

In particular, wind power production in the northwestern part of China was 24.4 billion kWh during the first half of this year, accounting for 8.2 percent of the region’s total power production. Grid-connected wind power capacity also climbed by 0.4 GW to 37.4 GW, accounting for 18.7 percent of the total installed capacity. The region’s average utilization time of wind farms clocked in at 688 hours.

Notably, Yunnan province ranked first across China in terms of the growth in grid-connected wind power capacity during the first half of this year, with grid-connected capacity jumping by 2.15 GW, followed by Jiangsu province with 0.68 GW, Jilin province with 0.61 GW, and Shandong province with 0.54 GW. Yunnan province, with average utilization time of 1,441 hours, laid claim to be the most productive region across the country, followed by Sichuan province with 1,377 hours, Tianjin with 1,266 hours and Fujian province with 1,166 hours. The poorest performers were Xinjiang with 578 hours, Gansu with 590 hours, Jilin with 677 hours and Ningxia with 687 hours.

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