Renewable Integration Update: Northwest China

In the first half of 2016, newly installed wind plants in China’s northwestern provinces (Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, and Xingjiang) increased total grid capacity by 401 MW. At the end of June, 2016, the total accumulated energy from wind contributed 37.428 GW to the grid, making up 18.7% of total grid capacity. Additionally, in the first half of 2016, wind power generated 24.4 TWh of energy, representing 8.2% of energy generated by the grid. Of this, only 688 hours of energy were consumed, meaning 15.53 TWh was wasted, bringing the curtailment rate to 38.9%. Gansu, Xinjiang, and Ningxia ran up the most severe curtailment rates of 46.6%, 44.2%, and 20.9% respectively. Shaanxi province, on the other had had curtailment rates of only 3.0% and Qinghai province has yet to observe any curtailment.

In terms of solar PV, new installations in the Northwest added 1.787 GW to overall grid capacity, bringing the accumulated total to 21.942 GW installed solar PV capacity, composing 11.0% of grid capacity. Electric power generated from solar PV was 13.38 TWh, representing 4.5% of all grid energy generated. Of this, 611 hours were consumed, meaning 3.28 TWh were wasted, with a total curtailment rate of 19.7%. The highest rates of curtailment came from Xinjiang and Gansu province with rates of 32.4% and 32.1% respectively. Ningxia’s curtailment rate was 10.9%, Qinghai’s 3.2%, and Shaanxi, recorded its first instance of solar curtailment at 1.7%.

The data are summarized in the table below:

Data source: Northwest China Energy Regulatory Bureau (National Energy Administration)

This article has been translated from the original Chinese version