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China Builds Wind Energy Observation Network

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China has established a national network to observe wind power, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) said on Monday.

The newly-operational network consists of 400 anemometer towers, ranging in height from 70 meters to 120 meters, CMA deputy director Jiao Meiyan said.

It was essential to ascertain the wind's strength in various places before development to harness its power, he said. The location of a power station should be based on exploitable capacity of the wind there.

The CMA started a national survey of wind energy resources in 2007.

Moves to exploit wind power have increased momentum in recent years because of China's supportive government policies. At the end of 2008, generation of electricity from wind-powered turbines in China reached 12.17 million kilowatts, ranking fourth globally behind the United States, France and Spain.

China plans to build seven wind power stations with a minimum capacity of 10 gigawatts (GW) each by 2020, in moves to boost greatly the use of clean energy.

When completed, the stations will have a combined capacity of approximately 120 GW, while China's total projected power capacity will be about 1,500 GW.

(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2009)