China plans offshore rethink

CHINA: China's National Energy Administration (NEA) is to join forces with the other government departments to revamp the country's offshore wind policy.

The NEA is to work together with government departments such as the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), the Ministry of Transport and other divisions of the State Development & Reform Commission. The SEA has the power to block offshore wind developments and has done so in Jiangsu province (Windpower Offshore 1 June 2012).

A national offshore wind development plan (2014-2016) has also been released. The document lists 44 offshore projects totalling about 10.3GW in capacity.The projects are distributed among seven coastal provinces and the Tianjin municipality.

Jiangsu province was awarded the largest share of around 3.19GW with 14 projects. The coastal provinces of Liaoning, Shandong and the Shanghai municipality, which hosts the country's first offshore demonstration wind farm, are not included in the list.

The offshore projects on the list break down into nine (1.75GW) that have NEA approval, and 35 that are at the preliminary stage. In all this is 8.53GW. The NEA said all projects listed in the plan would be treated as approved.

The developer of each project is expected to take responsibility for the risk and work to fulfil various requirements before starting actual construction.

According to the document, one of the aims of building offshore wind projects is to help establish wind technical standards and management systems. All offshore wind equipment must be certified.

The NEA said offshore development faces more difficulties in the country. It laid out the following concerns:

  • Most domestically produced offshore turbines are still at the trial stage
  • The country is weak in specialised offshore wind engineering experience
  • Efforts need be made to master the core technology of offshore wind power transmission and distribution
  • A complete wind industry service system needs be fostered, which covers fields such as offshore wind resources assessment, marine hydrographic survey, seabed geological survey and various technical standards

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