China’s wind power industry sees rapid growth

By Zhang Jiahui

China’s wind power industry has registered rapid growth in recent years.

In 2021, China’s newly installed capacity of grid-connected wind power reached 47.57 million kilowatts, with offshore wind power accounting for over one-third. The installed wind power capacity of China has exceeded 300 million kilowatts, and its installed offshore wind power capacity now ranks first in the world, according to the National Energy Administration of China(NEA).

Wind power has become the third-largest source of electricity in China. The amount of electricity generated from wind in China rose 40.5 percent year on year to 652.6 billion kWh in 2021, accounting for 7.9 percent of the country’s total electricity consumption.

Driven by large-scale development and technological advances, the LCOE of China’s onshore wind power in 2021 fell by 40 percent from that in 2010, and that of the country’s offshore wind power dropped by 53 percent from the previous year.

Thanks to years of efforts, China has gradually alleviated wind curtailment, with its average utilization rate of wind power reaching 96.9 percent.

At the same time, innovation and technology throughout the wind power industry – independent research and development and the manufacturing capacity of core components – in China are also rapidly increasing.

The country is now capable of conducting independent R&D of megawatt-level wind turbines and has formed a complete industrial chain of wind power equipment manufacturing.

Wind turbines rotate at an altitude of over 1,000 meters in Xianju county, Taizhou city, east China’s Zhejiang province, August 26, 2021. (Photo by Wang Huabin/People’s Daily Online)

High-capacity wind power generating units have been continuously upgraded and improved in China; and the country has led the world in the application of long blades and high towers of wind turbine generators, among other fields.

Meanwhile, the wide application of new digital technologies has made the design of products for wind power generation and the operation and management of wind farms more intelligent and efficient.

Meanwhile, a large number of Chinese wind power companies have picked up speed in exploring overseas markets, and wind power has become one of China’s strategic high-end green equipment manufacturing industries.

China produces half of the components of wind power generating units in the world, and six of the world’s top ten wind turbine makers come from China.

Statistics from the Chinese Wind Energy Association suggest that as of the end of 2020, China had exported 2,728 sets of wind power generators with a total capacity of over 6.37 million kW to 38 countries and regions on six continents, including the U.S., the U.K., France, and Australia.

An ocean-going vessel is loaded with wind power equipment to be exported at a wharf of Lianyungang Port, east China’s Jiangsu province, on April 21, 2022. (Photo by Wang Chun/People’s Daily Online)

Besides, as the world’s largest wind power equipment manufacturing base, China sees its output of generators, hubs, chassis, blades, gearboxes, bearings, and other components of wind turbines account for 60 percent to 70 percent of the world’s total.

By providing clear market expectations and key supportive measures, the Chinese government helps stimulate investment in the market and promote technological progress, thus ensuring the steady and orderly development of the country’s wind power industry.

Meanwhile, enterprise innovation throughout the entire industrial chain becomes the core driver of the industry’s development. Chinese enterprises could utilize and assimilate the technologies quickly, and built a full-blown industrial system that is globally competitive.

In February, China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the NEA issued a guideline on improving the systems, policies, and measures for the green and low-carbon transition of energy, stressing that the country would support the construction and rearrangement of new energy electricity generation facilities for more efficient power generation.

China’s wind power industry, as the country’s major driving force for attaining the goal of peaking carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, has bright prospects.

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