China is expected to see a surge in offshore wind farms project developments, thanks to favorable government-backed pricing and increased investment.
The Chinese government cut the tariffs for onshore projects that made offshore wind more economically attractive, according to Ma Jinru, vice president of Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology.
Goldwind is China’s biggest maker of wind turbines.
Bloomberg reported that the renewed offshore wind focus could see China exceed its target of 5 gigawatts of coastal projects ahead of the government’s 2020 deadline, Bloomberg News reported.
Zhou Yiyi, a Shanghai-based analyst from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said that the goal may be achieved by the end of next year given the pace of development. The analyst estimates that the country’s 1.9 gigawatts of total offshore wind capacity at the end of last year may increase by 77 percent this year.
“Given improvements in technology, the industry is focusing more in a relative sense on offshore wind power with stronger investment and research and development,” Goldwind’s Ma was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.
In December 2016, China’s National Development and Reform Commission announced that it is reducing the amount of money paid to new solar and wind power generators for their electricity in a bid to reflect declines in construction costs. According to the country’s price regulator and economic planner, China is cutting tariffs paid to solar farms by as much as 19 percent in 2017 from this year’s levels, and by as much as 15 percent for wind mills in 2018 from current prices, Bloomberg reported.
Offshore Wind Power in China
China has set ambitious targets to scale-up the deployment of offshore wind power. The country’s 12th Five Year Plan for Energy set a goal of 5 GW capacity by 2015 and 30 GW by 2020.