Offshore wind power sector galloping forward

2023-10-25 10:08:16China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

With the construction of offshore wind power projects accelerating across China, industry analysts said this will also help expedite other such projects that are scheduled to commence construction by the end of this year.

China Post Securities predicted the commencement of 8.5 GW of offshore wind power projects by the end of this year, as various regulatory constraints are gradually lifted.

It predicted that this year about 5.59 GW of offshore wind power projects will achieve full grid connection, with three offshore wind power projects already achieving grid connection by the end of September. Furthermore, about 4.7 GW of projects have already completed most of their construction and are expected to achieve grid connection within the year, it said.

Local governments across China have approved 21 offshore wind power projects so far this year, with a total installed capacity of 10.1 GW, according to China Economic Net data.

As regulatory constraints and other limiting factors are gradually lifted, an increase in domestic offshore wind power production and delivery is likely, said Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University.

The pace has accelerated since September, when many domestic offshore wind power projects stepped up construction, he said.

The first grid-parity offshore wind power project in Jiangsu province has been approved for commencement, which is also the first of its kind to be approved during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period in the province. The local government had approved the feasibility of the project on Sept 13, marking a clear acceleration in the pace of the sector's development in the province, said Lin.

He further said the slow development of the sector in the first half of this year was mainly due to the slowdown in approvals and environmental assessments, but there were other factors responsible as well.

The long-term growth prospects for the sector, however, remain unchanged; the sector is on the cusp of a turning point in terms of demand, as the factors restricting its development have been gradually diminishing, he said.

CITIC Securities analysts said the approval for the Jiangsu project will have a positive impact on the overall sector and help boost the installed capacity across China.

The growth rate of the sector's installed capacity is expected to further increase, thus driving the rapid development of the entire sectoral chain, they said.

Similar projects in Guangdong province, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and Shandong province have noticeably accelerated compared to the first half, they said.

Qin Haiyan, secretary-general of the Chinese Wind Energy Association, said the sector has enormous potential in China.

For the 14th Five-Year Plan period, China has planned five mega offshore wind power bases while various provinces have also set targets for adding capacity in the sector. The development of offshore wind power in China is expected to accelerate in the years to come while driving the development of the entire industrial chain, he said.

He also said support from local governments plays a key role in the sector's development as well as in achieving grid parity before 2025.

The number of projects in the sector has been increasing rapidly in recent years, helping create a complete industrial chain, including wind turbine units, auxiliary equipment and related industries, said Xiao Maolin, general manager of the New Energy Division of China National Offshore Oil Corp.

A series of key offshore wind power technologies, from wind turbines to blades, from undersea cables to offshore construction equipment, have achieved breakthroughs in recent years in the country, he said.

Promoting wind power to venture into deeper offshore areas with better wind resources is of great significance in establishing a globally competitive wind power industrial and supply chain for China, Xiao said.

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