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Special Report - Opportunity and Risk in China - Few foreign developers

The business of wind power project development in China is dominated by domestic companies, even though the number of foreign developers showing an interest in the sector is growing. Participation in wind power development by international players currently amounts to about 30 companies holding 5% of the market, a figure unchanged from last year, reports Beijing consultancy Azure International.

If Chinese companies with international interests are included in the count of "foreign" wind power investors, however, their total market share moves to 7% as of June this year, or 545.6 MW. These companies include the likes of Hero Asia (part of China's massive Longyuan Group), Euro China Power (part of Farsighted) and China Resources Power (state controlled but Hong Kong listed).

Around 15 fully domestic companies, led by the big five state owned utilities, Longyuan, Guohua, Datang, Huadian and Huaneng, hold around 78% of the near term market and 81% of the long term. The big five account for more than 50% of cumulative capacity installed by the end of 2007, with Longyuan leading the pack. Seventy percent of last year's capacity was developed by just ten companies, reports BTM Consult.

That market dynamic may be changing, however. While the current top ten hold a 72% share of the long term development pipeline, this shrinks to 66% for mid-term plans and tumbles further to 52% for near term development, says Azure's Sebastian Meyer. "There have been some slight changes in the top ten shares, with some of the big China companies slipping down or indeed out of the rankings, but it is not something talked about in China," he says.

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