Despite the considerable challenges and bottlenecks faced by China’s offshore wind power market, the country’s efforts in technologies for development of offshore wind power have remained strong.
Thanks to years of coordination and cooperation between the government and domestic offshore wind power players, the first batch of offshore wind power license projects, most of which have been idle for more than two years, are likely to go online in 2013.
So far, Jiangsu, Shandong, Hebei, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces as well as Shanghai have completed their planning for offshore wind power development. Liaoning, Fujian, Guangxi and Hainan provinces as well as the city of Dalian are currently finalizing their plans. Primary statistics confirm potential wind resources along China’s coasts and waterways capable of producing 43 million kW in output. Preparations for 38 projects with designed combined capacity of 16.5 million kW in output are already under way.
In addition to technologies and difficulties in construction, offshore wind power development is still subject to two decisive factors, namely a well-designed and implemented management system and government policies governing electricity prices. Considering the heavy investments needed for and the high risks surrounding offshore wind power development, as well as must-do improvements in technologies, in management and in the domestic pricing structure, how far can China’s offshore wind power industry advance between now and 2015?
According to China’s 12th Five-Year Renewable Energy Development Plan spanning 2011 to 2015, China’s installed wind power capacity connected to the grid is on track to reach 100 million kW by 2015, including installed offshore wind power capacity of 5 million kW, while annual electricity generation is projected to exceed 190 billion kWh, resulting in a complete and internationally competitive industry chain for wind turbines manufacturing. By 2020, the country’s combined installed grid-connected wind power capacity is expected to reach 200 million kW, including installed offshore wind power capacity of 30 million kW, while annual electricity generation is forecasted to surpass 390 billion kWh, making wind power a vital part of the grid in China.
Some industry analysts expressed concerns around the government’s goal of reaching an installed offshore wind power capacity of 5 gigawatts by 2015. Yi Yuechun, deputy general engineer at China’s Design General Institute of Hydropower and Water Resources Planning, dismissed these concerns, saying that in addition to concession projects, several demonstration and other projects are on the verge of going live. All that is needed is for the government to be clear about its policies and for the preparatory work in process to come to a state of completion, and the sector should see a huge acceleration in the development of the industry.
In fact, China’s energy authorities at the state level have had a change of perspective in terms of how to speed up the industry’s development. The New Energy & Renewable Energy Department of the National Energy Administration said that they are already mulling over the release of long-term benchmark pricing for offshore wind-generated electricity, in a move to encourage more investment in the sector. In addition, companies meeting basic requirements can file an application with the National Energy Administration, which will shortcut the process leading to a successful application.
A number China’s coastal provinces are either in the process of obtaining regulatory approval or have already initiated offshore wind power projects. In Shanghai, Donghai Bridge Project Phase II and Lingang Project Phases I and II with a combined capacity of 400 MW is soon to come on line. Hebei Construction & Investment Group and GD Power Development Company will commence construction of respective 500 MW projects in Hebei province. In Guangdong province, China Southern Power Grid has received the green light for its project in Zhuhai while Guangdong Yudean Group has been granted the approval for its project in Zhanjiang. Combined capacity of both projects is 400 MW. China Longyuan Power Group is planning a project with 400 MW capacity in Fujian province, with approval already in hand for the 50 MW-capacity first phase. In addition, Fujian Investment and Development Group has received the OK for its 50 MW offshore project in Pinghai Bay, Putian. GD Power Development, China Guangdong Nuclear Power, China Three Gorges Corporation and Power Construction Corporation of China are planning projects in Zhejiang province with combined capacity somewhere between 800 MW to one GW. Several major industry players including GD Power Development, Datang, China Huaneng Group, China Three Gorges and CNOOC have projects in the pre-feasibility study phase in Shandong province, one of three provinces taking the lead in China’s development of wind power. Once new government guidelines concerning the pricing of the generated electricity prices are released, construction of several of these projects will commence.
If construction of all the above mentioned projects do start during the 12th Five-Year period, it will not be difficult for China to achieve the 5 gigawatt stated goal. Just a few more than ten of the projects already on the books will be enough to achieve it. The goal is just part of the Chinese government’s focus on offshore wind power development. More importantly, China’s offshore wind power management system will be gradually enhanced during the process of meeting the goal, with ongoing upgrades to systems, policies and benchmarks built into the process. In addition, China’s competence in the manufacturing, assembly and deployment of wind turbines also will be optimized, while the government’s policies towards offshore wind power-generated electricity will become more comprehensive, laying a solid foundation for the country’s offshore wind power development during the 13th Five-Year period and beyond.
China’s offshore wind industry is developing from demonstration projects to scale-up construction. At this significant moment, OFFSHORE WIND CHINA 2013 will be grandly held again in June 19-21, 2013 at Shanghai New International Expo Center and Shangri-La’s Kerry Hotel Pudong. Organized by Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, National Renewable Energy Center, and Shanghai International Exhibition Co., Ltd, it has become the No.1 in Asia and No.2 in world offshore wind trade event.
During the event, leaders from National Energy Administration and provincial Development & Reform Commissions of China’s coastal provinces will visit and give guidance. Besides, China’s Giant 5 wind farm developers will be present. Led by Sinovel and Vestas, key players in wind industry will enthusiastically participate in. In addition, many well-developed countries in offshore wind industry, like Denmark, UK, Holland, Germany and Norway will organize national pavilions and send experts, scholars and entrepreneurs to gather together for the development of global offshore wind. The exhibition will cover a wide range from wind turbine manufacturers, main components suppliers, offshore installation companies to smart grid, energy storage, etc. The conference will expect 700 industry professionals, and will invite around 100 speakers to deliver speeches in 14 various sessions with the international percentage above 30%. Concurrently, “2013 Shanghai International Distributed Generation Conference” will be launched. It is designed to build an integrated trade event consisting of distributed generation, micro-grid and energy storage.
OFFSHORE WIND CHINA is an ideal trade platform for global offshore wind communication and cooperation. It is aimed to undertake the expectation of promoting offshore wind progresses and development, to carry the responsibility of going down into history, and to make contribution to the dream and glory of a prospering offshore wind Industry.
More information, please contact: