Onshore wind power development in China: Challenges behind a successful story
Wind energy utilization, especially onshore grid-connected wind power generation, has a history of 30 years in China. With the increasing attention to renewable energy development in recent years, wind energy has become the focus of academic research and policy-making. While the potential and advantages of wind energy are widely recognized, many questions regarding the effectiveness of policies and performances of current practices remain unanswered. This paper takes Inner Mongolia, the province that has the most abundant wind energy resources in China, as a case to assess the performance of Chinese onshore wind power projects, focusing on the institutional setting, economic and technological performance, as well as environmental and social impacts. Results show that China is experiencing a rapid growth in wind power generation, which brings China great environmental, energy security and social benefits. However, for a full development of wind energy in China a number of barriers need to be removed: high generation cost, low on-grid price, and stagnating development of domestic manufacture. These findings lead to three policy recommendations.
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