China unlikely to hit offshore target

CHINA: China's National Energy Administration has admitted it is likely to miss its 2015 5GW offshore target, with only 390MW installed so far, and outlined its reasons why it will fall short.

A Goldwind turbine being installed at Rudong, east China

Speaking at a Sino-British conference dedicated to offshore wind case studies and technology exchange, Shi Lishan, deputy chief of new and renewable energy division at the National Energy Administration, said there would be "a degree of difficulty" in hitting the target. The 5GW figure was stipulated in the country's five-year plan.

Shi's view backs up an 2013 appraisal by Yi Yuechun, deputy chief engineer of the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute. The relatively slow progress, when compared to its huge 71GW onshore capacity, is being blamed on a feed-in tariff (FiT) for offshore that developers say has been set too low.

China has made an important step in the development of offshore wind power, but there is a big gap between China and European countries in terms of technology, policy and management, Shi said.

He added that efforts must be made to work out a clear price scheme for offshore wind power as soon as possible. Without such a policy, investors will find it difficult to make assessments and decisions on wind projects.

Coordinated efforts by relevant government departments, such as oceanic, transportation and environmental protection, must be intensified to enhance the administrative efficiency. A better job must be done in establishing the technology and standard system for offshore wind.

China is comparatively weak in this area. Progress is needed in the technical work of resources evaluation, project designing, construction and installing, and operation and maintenance,  he said.      

The UK is the leading country in the world in developing offshore wind. The exchanges made at the conference will help the two countries elevate the level of offshore wind  development, said Yi Yuechun, deputy chief engineer of the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute, an organiser of the event.