China's offshore capacity to hit 30GW by 2020

CHINA: China will expand its offshore wind power installed capacity to 5GW by 2015 and 30GW by 2020, said Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA).

Shanghai's East Sea Bridge offshore wind farm is China's first large-scale wind farm
Shanghai's East Sea Bridge offshore wind farm is China's first large-scale wind farm

CREIA made the forecast while announcing Offshore Wind China 2011, the largest industrial seminar and exhibition of offshore wind power in Asia. It will be held from June 15 to 17 in east China’s Shanghai City.

China, which had a total of 44.7GW wind turbine installed capacity by the end of 2010, has accelerated its offshore wind sector.

Offshore wind development in China is still in the early stages, due to complex operating environments for offshore turbines, high technological requirements and construction difficulties, according to Qin Haiyan, secretary general of the China Wind Energy Association (CWEA).

Offshore wind power construction is a priority in China this year. In January, NEB said China would kick off construction of 1GW offshore wind power projects in 2011.

In 2009, China had only 63MW of offshore wind turbines installed, about 21 percent of the newly installed offshore wind power in United Kingdom, the fastest growing country in the year.

In March 2010, Shi Lishan, deputy director of the New Energy and Renewable Energy Department of the National Energy Bureau (NEB), said: "This year, we will make the development of offshore wind projects a priority."

In June 2010, the first stage project of East Sea Bridge Offshore Wind Farm went into operation in full scale in Shanghai. Totaling 102MW, it is China’s first large-scale offshore wind farm located to the east side of the Shanghai East Sea Bridge. It comprises 34 units of 3MW Sinovel turbines.

The China Meteorological Administration has estimated China could develop more than 750GW in its waters compared to 253GW on land.  

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