'China needs to build big turbines,' says energy chief

CHINA: China should encourage the use of bigger turbines in its wind farms, said Shi Lishan, deputy director of the New Energy and Renewable Energy Department of National Energy Bureau.

Currently the 3MW Goldwind wind turbine is the largest on the Chinese mainland
Currently the 3MW Goldwind wind turbine is the largest on the Chinese mainland

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The main models of turbines for land-based wind farms should be 3MW and offshore wind farms 5MW or above. At present, the most popular turbine models are 1.5MW in China. "We also need to accelerate studying technologies for 10MW turbines," said Shi at a clean energy seminar in Beijing.

Shi's comments follow on from moves by the Chinese government to promote the manufacture of larger turbines in the country.

In March, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, National Development and Reform Commission and National Energy Bureau jointly launched the 'Standard on Accessing Wind Power Equipment Manufacturing Sector,' with a view to gauging public opinion.  

The Standard requires that newly constructed wind turbine plants must have the capacity to produce 2.5MW turbines with an annual output of 1GW. Wind turbine plants must have the experience of having no less than 500MW turbines installed if they expect expansion.

Prospective wind turbine manufacturers will need to have at least five years experience of producing large-scale mechanical and electronic products.

The Standard is widely believed to raise the threshold to enter the wind turbine production business and highly likely to trigger restructuring in the turbine production business. China has more than 80 wind turbine producers.

But no more than 10 businesses could meet the Standard, said Ma Xuelu, vice-president of China Wind Energy Association.

Zhang Shuai, an analyst with Guojin Securities, said small and medium-sized enterprises having entered the wind turbine production business and failed to meet the Standard will gradually fall by the wayside.


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