China drops ‘70% homemade’ rule for wind turbines

The policy change will spur foreign investment in China’s wind turbine industry and intensify competition among overseas and domestic suppliers, China Business News said Monday. Shi Lishan, deputy director of renewable energy at the Beijing-based National Development and Reform Commission, didn’t reply to calls made to his office and mobile telephones.

Overseas companies have lost out on wind energy projects as bidding criteria make it impossible for them to compete with domestic developers, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said in May last year.

The NDRC, the top economic planner, said in 2005 that 70 percent of the wind power equipment used in China should be produced domestically, whether by foreign or local manufacturers.

The Chinese government indicated last year that it would scrap the ruling on the percentage of equipment made in China, said Andrew Hilton, a spokesman for Vestas Wind Systems A/S in China, the world’s biggest producer of wind turbines.

Samantha Ko, executive director at Hong Kong-listed China WindPower Group Ltd., said she was unaware of the policy change.

The world’s second-biggest energy-consuming nation aims to increase its capacity to produce power from wind energy fivefold by 2020 to help combat climate change, the government has said.

China’s wind power capacity will rise to 100,000 megawatts by then from at least 20,000 megawatts in 2010, National Energy Administration head Zhang Guobao said on May 26.

The country has 70 wind turbine makers with a capacity of about 15,000 megawatts a year, Dave Dai, a Hong Kong-based analyst at CLSA Research, said in a note on Sept. 2.