China’s surging wind power industry will increasingly move offshore, experts say, as the nation’s first offshore wind farm reaches full power this month and government officials push several additional projects.
The 102-megawatt Shanghai wind farm is the first of several offshore wind projects planned by China, which last month opened bids for three to four large-scale offshore wind farms that officials say could generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity.
Beijing-based energy consultants Azure International predict that by 2020 China will have invested $100 billion to install 30,000 megawatts of capacity off the Chinese coast. That would exceed the capacity already installed in China’s booming land-based wind power market.
According to a recent report by the Global Wind Energy Council, China doubled its wind power capacity last year — from 12,100 megawatts to 25,100 megawatts — an increase that accounted for one-third of global growth in wind power.
Officials said that China’s emphasis on offshore wind will initially focus on tidal flats, including in Jiangsu Province, north of Shanghai, which has 10,000 megawatts of wind power potential.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.