Offshore wind power capacity surges in China

China has witnessed a remarkable surge in the development of offshore wind power so far this year, industry experts said, as the construction of such projects accelerates across the nation.

As of September, the cumulative installed capacity of offshore wind power in China reached 31.89 million kilowatts, constituting nearly half of the world’s total offshore wind power capacity, said Shu Yinbiao, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Shu made the remarks during an offshore wind power industry supply chain event organized by China Three Gorges Corp in Beijing on Friday.

Over the past five years, the average individual capacity of newly installed offshore wind turbines has increased from 4 megawatts to 7.5 megawatts. Operating stations have been positioned more than 80 kilometers offshore, with the accelerated adoption of technologies such as floating wind turbines and flexible direct current converter platforms, he said.

With costs decreasing thanks to advances in technology, the sector will embrace massive development opportunities amid China’s commitment to achieving carbon peak before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060, he said.

A view of wind turbines in a wind farm off the coast of Rudong county, Jiangsu province. XU CONGJUN/FOR CHINA DAILY

By the end of 2022, China’s cumulative installed capacity of offshore wind power exceeded 30 million kilowatts, ranking first in the world for two consecutive years. This accounted for around half of the world’s total such capacity.

According to Wang Liangyou, executive vice-president of China Three Gorges Corp, offshore wind power, which represents a strategically emerging technology that deeply integrates wind power and marine engineering, can significantly ease electricity demand in the central and eastern regions while enhancing energy self-sufficiency in key areas such as the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta region and the Pearl River Delta region.

He suggested continuously advancing scientific research and technological development to promote domestic production, reducing dependence on foreign technologies and boosting the competitiveness of domestic industries.

Shu urged the government to further strengthen overall planning while putting in place a database for marine information, to promote the large-scale development of the sector.

China’s eastern and coastal areas lead the country in power consumption, but other energy resources are mainly concentrated in the western and northern regions. Developing offshore wind power projects enables the coordinated use of various energy resources, he said.

The offshore wind sector in China is expected to develop further and drive the entire industrial chain going forward, he said.