As of June 2019, China had more than 10 GW of offshore wind capacity under construction with another 40 GW already approved and ready to be built
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said that, similar to onshore wind in the country, an “installation rush” is expected for offshore wind in China up until 2020 as developers attempt to capitalise on existing feed-in tariffs.
“Local offshore project developers confirmed at the Global Offshore Wind Summit China that they will try to capitalise on the 0.85RMB/kWh feed-in tariff (FiT),” said GWEC. “However, concerns regarding the supply chain have also been expressed by large Chinese offshore wind turbine suppliers.”
Manufacturing key components such as blades, main bearings and offshore cables are facing bottlenecks, GWEC said, and might limit the potential volume of offshore wind to be grid-connected between now and 2020.
Despite the challenges from the supply side, GWEC expects new offshore wind installation to double in 2019, compared with 1.65 GW in 2018.
Looking further into the future, the Chinese offshore wind market will maintain momentum and annual installation is likely to remain at 4 GW, GWEC said.
Although China was the world’s largest offshore wind market for new installations last year, it is still ranked in second place, after the UK, when it comes to cumulative installations.
Considering the expected installation rush in 2019 and 2020, GWEC believes China will probably replace the UK as the world’s largest offshore market by the end of 2020.
China is the world’s largest wind power market in both new and cumulative installations. In 2018, the country installed 20.2 GW of onshore wind and 1.6 GW of offshore wind, representing 44% and 37% of global market share respectively.
The continued growth of this wind market is mainly due to ambitious policies at national level which has made wind and other renewables extremely cost-competitive.