China to surpass wind power generation capacity of US by 2016, says report

11 February 2015 (Last Updated February 11th, 2015 18:30)

China, which presently has the maximum installed wind capacity worldwide, is expected to increase and exceed wind power generation capacity of the US by 2016.

China, which presently has the maximum installed wind capacity worldwide, is expected to increase and exceed wind power generation capacity of the US by 2016.

The US presently generates the largest amount of wind energy, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

Slower wind speeds in China and insufficient power grid infrastructure can be the reasons for reduced wind power generation in the country.

Installed wind power in the US, however, is around 66MW at present, which is much less than China.

Cumulative wind power installed capacity in the Asian country had increased from 402MW in 2001 to 110GW in 2014, indicating a steady compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.5%.

"In terms of annual installations, the Chinese wind industry has proven to be more stable than the US."

Approximately 18GW of new installations in China have been recorded in 2014. The US, on the other hand, added only 4.9GW, according to GlobalData.

GlobalData analyst for power Pranav Srivastava said: "In terms of annual installations, the Chinese wind industry has proven to be more stable than the US, as the latter’s annual installations rely heavily upon government incentives, which are often under speculation.

"In 2013, the US wind industry witnessed a 92% drop in annual installed capacity and around 30,000 job losses due to the expiration of the production tax credit.

"Although this incentive, which was renewed early in December 2014, sought to benefit wind power generators, it did not have any worthwhile positive impact on the industry in practicality.

"It gave investors very little time to meet its eligibility requirements. As such, the US wind sector may not be in as healthy a condition as President Obama recently claimed."