Wind Power


China leads the world in deployment of wind power, with roughly one-third of global capacity. As of the end of 2018, China had roughly 185 GW of wind power (including 4.5 GW of offshore wind). In recent years China has led the world in deployment of new wind power, with 20 GW of new installations in 2018.

In 2018, wind power accounted for roughly 5% of China’s electricity generation and 10% of China’s installed power capacity.[19]

China has significant wind power resources, especially in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and other northern and western provinces. (See map below.) In 2018, Inner Mongolia produced far more wind power than any other province, followed by Xinjiang, Hebei, Gansu and Yunnan (in that order).[20]

Figure 9-3

Curtailment is a significant challenge for the Chinese wind power industry, although the situation has improved significantly in the past few years. In 2018, China’s wind power curtailment rate was roughly 7% nationally, with rates of 23% in Xinjiang, 19% in Gansu and 10% in Inner Mongolia.[22]


The 13th Five-Year Plan establishes a goal of 210 GW of grid-connected wind power by 2020 (including 5 GW of offshore wind). Each province is given specific deployment goals, including 27 GW for Inner Mongolia, 18 GW for Xinjiang and 18 GW for Hebei. 

The plan also establishes a goal of 420 TWh of electric generation from wind (which is roughly 6% of China’s total electricity generation).[23]

China’s feed-in tariff for wind power dates to at least 2009. Rates vary by region and are declining slowly. In early 2019, the Chinese government announced major changes to the feed-in tariff policies for wind. Feed-in tariffs will be phased out entirely starting in 2021 and replaced with an auction system and renewable electricity consumption quotas (see discussion at note 6 above).[24]

In March 2019, the National Energy Administration issued a notice calling for an immediate halt in development and construction of all wind power projects in Xinjiang and Gansu (including those that had already been approved) and ban on approvals of new wind power projects in Inner Mongolia and parts of Shanxi, Shaanxi and Hebei.  The notice was intended to address overcapacity and the risk of curtailment in those locations.​​​​​​[25]


[19] IRENA,Renewable Capacity Statistics 2019at p. 14; REN21,Renewables 2019 Global Status Reportat table R20; China Energy Portal, “2018 Electricity & Other Energy Statistics”(January 25, 2019).

[20] China Energy Portal, “2018 wind power installations utility and distributed by province”(January 28, 2019).

[21] IEA, ERI (NDRC), “China Wind Energy Development Roadmap 2050”at pp.14–15.

[22] China Energy Portal, “2018 wind power installations utility and distributed by province”(Janaury 28, 2019); NEA, “2017年风电并网运行情况” [2017 Wind Power Integration Situation](February 1, 2018). See generally Lori Bird, Jaquelin Cochran and Xi WangWind and Solar Energy Curtailment,NREL (2014) at p.iv, (“Curtailment is a reduction in the output of a generator from what it could otherwise produce given available resources, typically on an involuntary basis”).

[23] NEA, “国家能源局关于可再生能源发展“十三五”规划实施的指导意见” [Guiding opinions on the implementation of the “13th FYP” for renewable energy development](July 29, 2017); NEA, “风电发展“十三五”规划” [13th FYP development plan for wind power](November 2016).

[24] NDRC and NEA, “Notice on the first batch of 2019 of non-subsidized wind and PV power generation projects (grid-parity projects)”(May 20, 2019); NDRC and NEA, “Notice on the establishment and improvement of a safeguard mechanism for renewable electricity consumption”(May 10, 2019); NDRC and NEA, “Notice on the establishment and improvement of a safeguard mechanism for renewable electricity consumption (‘Renewable electricity quota’)”(January 7, 2019); NDRC, “关于完善风力发电上网电价政策通知” [The Notice on Improving the Pricing Policy for Wind Power Prices](July 2009); Angel Hang, “Is China Ready for Subsidy-Free Renewables?,”Greentech Media (May 31, 2019).

[25] NEA, “Circular on 2019 wind power investment monitoring and early warning results”(May 4, 2019).

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