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China

Offshore wind surge drives China past 300GW installed capacity

As industry rushes to get projects online before support finishes at year end, IEA says China will meet 2030 targets four years early

Developers have rushed to bring offshore projects online before China scraps feed-in tariffs at the end of 2021 (pic: Goldwind)
Developers have rushed to bring offshore projects online before China scraps feed-in tariffs at the end of 2021 (pic: Goldwind)

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Chinese offshore wind farms are coming online thick and fast, leading to a capacity surge that has taken China’s cumulative installed wind capacity to more than 300GW. The latest data from Windpower Intelligence (WPI), the data and research division of Windpower Monthly, shows the country’s installed total is now 302.2GW.

This week, local press reports in China also reported the country has exceeded 300GW installed, quoting statistics from China’s National Energy Administration.

Of the projects WPI registered in November as newly coming online, eight of the world’s 11 largest were in Chinese waters. The eight Chinese offshore wind farms saw a combined capacity of 2.7GW added to the country’s total capacity, confirming industry predictions that developers in China would rush to commission projects before feed-in tariffs are scrapped at the end of 2021.

In the Renewable 2021 report released yesterday (1 December) by the International Energy Agency (IEA), China is forecast to reach its 1,200GW by 2030 target for wind and solar PV capacity combined four years early. The IEA says this is thanks to “the availability of long-term contracts, improved grid integration, and the cost competitiveness of onshore wind and solar PV compared with coal generation in many provinces”.

WPI’s global forecast sees China’s installed wind capacity reaching 485GW by 2027 — split into 446.7GW onshore and 38.5GW offshore.

Globally, the IEA expects 88.9GW of wind capacity to be added annually in the 2021-26 period under the main case scenario — or 112GW a year under the accelerated case scenario.

Offshore wind is set to add 21GW annually in the same period, it said, thanks to rapid expansion in new markets such as the US, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam and Japan — alongside current leaders Europe and China.

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