Wind power has been rapidly expanding throughout the world, including in India and the PRC. The potential in Asia is enormous. According to one study (Shah 2012), Mongolia and the PRC could each insta...
ll over 1 terawatt (1 million megawatts or 1,000 gigawatts) of wind capacity,
which together would generate more than 3,000 terawatt-hours (TWh)
annually. This is over 60% of the PRC’s total electricity consumption of
4,937 TWh in 2012. Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, and Viet Nam could each
install over 100 gigawatts (GW). The only country currently exploiting
more than 5% of its potential is India, its 30% exploitation driven largely by an accelerated depreciation allowance. However, the wind resource is distributed unevenly across Asia, endowing a handful of countries with
huge potential but leaving many with little.
According to World Wind Energy Council, a leading industry association, the installed capacity of wind power in Asia in 2011 was 82.0 GW, or 36% of the total world capacity of 237.5 GW and comparable to Europe’s 96.5 GW. By the end of 2012, global capacity had increased by 19% to 282.5 GW. With 75.5 GW, the PRC leads the world, and India is ranked fifth with 18.5 GW. Figure 2.3.1 shows the distribution of wind resources and installed
capacity across Asia. Unlike the solar resource, variance is large,leaving wind turbines becalmed or unable to safely absorb wind energy during storms. Sites need to have a mean wind velocity of at least 6 meters per second (22 kilometers per hour) to be viable. Improvements in design allow modern wind turbines to start generating power at a wind speed of 3
meters per second and cut off at 25 meters per second. Larger rotor diameters to 127 meters and higher hub heights to 135 meters enable turbines to absorb more of the wind energy and improve the economics, particularly if installed offshore.
--- PDR = people’s democratic republic, PRC = People’s Republic of China.
--- Source: Shah 2012.
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