China to boost offshore wind power

China will invite public bidding for more offshore wind farm projects in the next five years to reach an installed offshore wind power capacity of 5 gigawatts by 2015.

A lack of experience in installation and high costs have constrained its development in China for now, Wang Jun, director of renewable energy at the National Energy Administration, said yesterday at a conference in Shanghai.

China, the world’s biggest polluter, wants at least 15 percent of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2020 as it seeks to reduce reliance on coal and oil. The nation has enough wind energy potential to generate seven times its current power consumption, Michael McElroy, a researcher at Harvard University, said in a report in September last year.

China’s offshore wind power capacity may reach 5 GW in 2015 and 30 GW by 2020, Wang Minhao, vice-president of the Hydropower Planning Research Institute, said at an industry conference in Shanghai, citing local governments’ preliminary development plans.

The institute, affiliated to the Ministry of Water Resources, is responsible for the planning and design of China’s hydropower and wind power projects.

"Although such a target is yet to be officially approved by the central government, the nation will definitely invite public bidding for more offshore wind power projects in the next five years, following the first batch of four such huge projects established in eastern part of Jiangsu province," said Li Junfeng, deputy director-general of the Energy Research Institute affiliated to the National Development and Reform Commission.

He said that more projects would soon be rolled out in Jiangsu, Shandong, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, and Shanghai municipality.

"Authorities would not wait until the completion of the first four projects for the start of new ones" in order to meet the 5 GW target in 2015," he added.

"China has accelerated the construction of offshore wind turbines projects along the eastern coast since last year," said Wang Jun, director of the New Energy and Renewable Energy Department of China’s National Energy Administration.

The move is to meet the huge needs of the nation’s energy-hungry eastern cities.

"Meanwhile, that’s given that transmission of on land wind power from China’s west to the east of the country is much less efficient," he added.

Four offshore wind power projects in Jiangsu province with a combined capacity of 1 GW are currently under public bidding.

The four wind farm projects include two near-shore plants, each with installed capacity of 300 megawatts, and two built on tidal flats with a capacity of 200 MW each, the National Energy Administration said earlier.

Public bidding for these projects started on May 18 and is expected to finish in September. China has also finished construction of a pilot offshore wind power project at East China Sea Bridge near Shanghai, with an installed capacity of 100 MW.

Investment in the project is 2.5 times that of an on-land project with the same capacity. Wind power is considered one of the most economically viable renewable energies to help China realize its target of getting 15 percent of its energy mix from non-fossil energies by 2020.

China’s wind power industry has seen over 100 percent year-on-year growth in the past four years. The country’s installed wind power capacity has reached 25 GW, the second-largest in the world. The nation’s combined wind energy capacity is expected to reach 150 GW by 2020.

World Bank offers guidance for offshore and onshore wind power development

The World Bank launched two new reports on wind power today. The reports, titled “Regulatory Review of Offshore Wind in Five European Countries” and “Strategic Guidance,” present examples and options for consideration by China in meeting the challenges of offshore and large scale onshore wind power development.

In recent years, China’s achievements in wind power development have exceeded expectations and planning targets. Wind power development in China has made remarkable progress particularly during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006–2011).

By the end of 2009, China had the third largest installed capacity of wind power in the world, and a market growing at a rate that is likely to be the largest in the world in the coming years. The Government plans to scale up onshore wind in resource-rich regions of the country, undertake pilot intertidal projects, and initiate development work on medium- and deepwater offshore wind farms.

“China’s achievement is impressive and the scale-up strategy is sound. The World Bank is honored to be associated with this important renewable energy development and is partnering with the National Energy Administration (NEA) to support implementation of the Government’s vision,” says Gailius Draugelis, World Bank’s Energy Sector Coordinator for China.

An overview of lessons learned from international experience in large-scale wind power development, and practical implementation guidance for future wind power development in China was the focus of a recent joint initiative of the NEA and the World Bank. This resulted in the two reports, which were launched at the China Offshore Wind Conference in Shanghai.

With that in mind, “Regulatory Review of Offshore Wind in Five European Countries” provides a detailed description and evaluation of the regulatory approaches that various countries in Europe have taken to develop offshore wind energy. Based on the evaluation of experience to date, the report makes recommendations for the regulation of offshore wind in China.

The second report, “Strategic Guidance”, builds on the lessons learned from international experience, provides technical guidance for offshore and large-scale onshore wind development in China, and presents a roadmap with institutional, preparatory, demonstration and research and development tasks.

The report stresses that a key component of success will be ensuring that wind farms are built in places where some key requirements are present. The report identifies the following as the main principles for the efficient development of wind resources:

Confirmation of wind characteristics
Adequate project design and proven wind turbines
Assurance of regulatory clarity, predictability and adequate incentives
Availability of skilled staff for design, manufacturing, and operations and maintenance
Getting grid planning and development right.

“The development of large wind power bases, as well as intertidal and offshore wind farms, poses technical, operational, and financing challenges,” says Dejan Ostojic, Sector Leader, World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Region, Infrastructure Unit.

“The Government of China is well aware of these challenges, and recognizes the importance of having the appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks in place. The World Bank is committed to working with the Government to complement its efforts for ensuring a sustainable energy future.”

In addition to the two World Bank reports prepared with the support of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Asia Sustainable and Alternative Energy Program (ASTAE), other studies on various important aspects of wind power development are under way as part of the China Renewable Energy Scale-Up Program (CRESP), a joint program of the Government of China, World Bank, and Global Environment Facility (GEF) for renewable energy policy development and investment.

Examples of relevant studies supported under CRESP include assessment of wind resources in potential wind farm sites in coastal provinces, research into construction technologies for offshore and intertidal wind farms, as well as detailed research and studies on the integration of wind farms into the grid and the operation of a system with large wind power capacity.

Source: China Daily,