By Kong Dechen
The first batch of wind turbines of an offshore wind farm in the central Bohai Sea and 20 kilometers from the Dongying Port in east China’s Shandong province were recently connected to the national power grid.
“It is the first offshore wind farm project in China that sells electricity without a subsidy,” said Zhu Haifei, deputy general manager of the project from Shandong Energy, a state-owned coal mining company headquartered in Jinan, capital of Shandong province.
Zhu introduced that the wind farm is expected to generate nearly 1.7 billion kilowatt hours of green electricity each year, which is equal to the reduction of 519,000 tons of standard coal and about 1.26 million tons of CO2.
China has made outstanding achievements in developing offshore wind power in recent years According to a report issued by China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the country’s installed capacity of renewable energy had reached 1.06 billion kilowatts at the end of 2021, accounting for 44.8 percent of the country’s total installed capacity. Besides, China ranked first in the world in terms of the installed capacity of offshore wind power.
Last year, 2,603 wind turbines were installed across the country, with a capacity of 14.48 million kilowatts, surging 276.7 percent year on year.
“It’s a general trend to develop offshore wind power. China enjoys rich resources and huge development potential of offshore wind, which has an important significance for ensuring energy security, promoting low-carbon development, and achieving the ‘dual carbon’ goals,” said Wang Nanchang, chairman of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) Haizhuang Windpower Co., Ltd.
He told People’s Daily that offshore wind power, compared with onshore wind power, boasts richer wind resources, higher utilization hours, less occupation of land and water resources, and large-scale development.
However, the construction of offshore wind farms is technically challenging. Wang noted that anti-corrosion technology is key to offshore wind farms, and the design of chips and software is also a barrier. Besides, supporting facilities for offshore wind farms are more costly than those on land, he added.
China has rapidly improved its capability in the development and manufacturing of high-end marine engineering equipment.
In recent years, a number of “China’s first” and “world’s largest” offshore wind power projects were unveiled.
On Oct. 13, a 13.6-megawatt offshore wind turbine rolled off the production line. It has the largest single-unit capacity in the Asia-Pacific region and the largest impeller diameter in the world.
On Sept. 28, China’s first 2,000-ton-class offshore wind farm installation vessel Baihetan was delivered for operation. The giant ship, developed by CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Company Limited, is the first one that meets the functional standards of the fourth generation of offshore wind equipment in China and the requirements of integrated construction operations, including self-lifting and self-navigation in deep waters. It will help make a deeper exploration of offshore wind power potential for China.
“The launches of new turbines and products indicated that Chinese enterprises have made progress in their manufacturing capabilities and are catching up with world-class manufacturers,” said Zhou Jianqi, head of the Enterprise Evaluation and Research Office of the Enterprise Research Institute at the Development Research Center of the State Council.
Zhou said China still needs more innovation in developing offshore wind farms. He suggested that the country support outstanding enterprises to establish intelligent experiment platforms and integrate industrial resources to strengthen areas of weakness, so as to enhance its capability in domestically producing wind power equipment. He also called for innovation in management, in particular strengthening the management capability of the supply chain.