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China launches wind power lottery to prevent transmission deficiencies

Authorities have to whittle down the total number of projects as Yanan was given permission to build 900 MW of Wind capacity this year. Which wind project will go ahead this year will be decided through a lottery system introduced in Yanan, a major wind power base in northwest China's Shaanxi province. It is a sign that grid constraints are forcing local governments to restrict capacity.

China has been leading in developing alternative power as part of its effort to cut carbon emissions. China's grid-connected wind power reached 163.7 GW in 2017 which is 10.1 percent on the year and total 9.2 percent of the total generating capacity.

Capacity expansion has increased faster than grid construction to which wind, solar and hydropower plants are not able to deliver their power to consumers which results in Curtailment (transmission deficiencies).

Authorities have to whittle down the total number of projects as Yanan was given permission to build 900 MW of Wind capacity this year but 1300 MW have already been declared eligible for construction.

After a study, lottery method should be used to decide what plans will be submitted for approval to the provincial development and reform commission.

By the end of the decade, China is aiming to raise the share of non-fossil fuels in its total energy mix to around 15 percent up from 12 percent in 2015.

Although renewable power has grown rapidly in the country, its 80 GW of wind capacity still failed to transmit electricity to the consumers in 2015. According to the energy regulator, in 2017 wasted wind power amounted to around 12 percent of the total generation.

An environmental group is currently suing grid companies in the northwest part because of their failure to fulfill the legal obligation to maximize purchases of local renewable power.

China, in order to prevent waste, has drawn up guidelines aimed at preventing new plant construction in regions already suffering from surplus capacity.

Last month Country has released draft guidelines for new renewable energy certificates system expecting to help alleviate curtailment. The draft will force regions to meet mandatory clean electricity utilization targets.

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