China Makes a Big Bet on Offshore Wind
In China, the year witnessed newly added wind power capacity of about 23 GW, decreasing 24 percent from a year earlier, according to data released by the Chinese Wind Energy Association. The country’s total installed wind power capacity reached 169 GW. Remarkably, the installed capacity of the onshore wind power sector decreased, while offshore saw an increase of more than 60 percent. The country installed 154 wind turbines last year, with a total capacity of 590 MW, an increase of 64 percent year on year.
Most notably, China’s newly added installed wind power capacity accounted for 42.7 percent of the global total in 2016.
Further growth in the wind power market is inevitable from both environmental and economic perspectives. In 2016, China’s National Energy Administration issued the Guidance on Establishing a Goal-Directing System for the Development and Utilization of Renewable Energy, specifying that non-hydro renewable electricity as a proportion of all electricity consumption is scheduled to reach 9 percent by 2020, while the percentage contributed by wind power is set to reach 6 percent.
According to a report on the global wind power market published by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) in 2016, wind’s share of power output is rising, with the percentage in China reaching 4 percent. The global wind power market is expected to grow steadily in the next five years, with total installed capacity expected to reach 800 GW by 2021.
Over the last few years, China has made a serious bet on offshore wind. By the end of 2020, the country is aiming for total on-grid wind power capacity to exceed 210 GW, with the offshore component expected to exceed 5 GW. Annual power generation from wind across China is expected to reach 420 billion kilowatts, accounting for approximately 6 percent of the country’s total.
During the country’s 13th Five-Year Development Plan period, China plans to focus on rolling out offshore projects in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong provinces, with the capacity of the facilities already under construction in the four provinces expected to surpass 1 GW by 2020. The total installed capacity of facilities under construction across the entire country is expected to reach 10 GW by 2020, with total on-grid capacity hitting 5 GW.
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