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China 'not suitable' for wind power generation

By Qiang Xiaoji (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-03-10 16:03
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A fast expansion in wind power generation projects is not in accordance with China's reality, as sandstorms always go with wind, which would cause serious damage to the wind power equipment, said Miao Wei, vice minister of Industry and Information Technology, on Sunday, the Beijing Times reported.

Miao said a wind power generator can usually run for 20 years, but the life expectancy would be greatly reduced if it were eroded by sandstorms. Many wind power projects are just vanity projects, he said, pointing out the 10 million-kilowatt wind power project in Northwest China’s Gansu province.

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Construction of the Jiuquan, Gansu-based wind power project kicked off in 2008. It has a designed total installed capacity of 35.65 million kW, with 10.65 million kW in the first phase.

He said one of the problems in the distribution of power was that the country failed to strike a balance between suppliers and users, citing central China's Hubei province as an example.

Hubei has an edge in hydroelectric power, and should enjoy the clean power generated by the Three Gorges project, which is located in the province. But in reality, the province transports its hydroelectric power to eastern areas and then has to purchases power coal from neighboring provinces, which has a ripple effect on coal supplies in neighboring provinces, leading them to buy coal from areas farther out, such as Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. Such an approach significantly raises logistics costs and causes huge waste, he said.