Manufacturing News

Country's sea-based platforms lead world

Chinese investments and technological advancements have propelled the nation to the forefront of offshore wind energy on the world stage, said a global industry group.

China's cumulative installed capacity alone accounted for nearly half the total global offshore wind installations in 2022, surpassing Europe as the world's largest offshore wind market, as a result of rising costs and supply chain disruptions, according to data from the Global Wind Energy Council.

The trend is expected to continue for years to come, it said.

Latest data released by energy insights firm Wood Mackenzie in September show that China still maintained its leading position in global wind power activity during the first six months, accounting for 44 gigawatts of the world's total wind turbine order demand, up 12 percent in global order power generation capacity compared to the same period a year earlier.

This represents a significant portion of the global capacity, which amounted to 69.5 GW during the period, it said.

The council said the Asia-Pacific region is expected to add 76.1 GW from 2023 to 2027, driven by China, which will account for 84 percent of the increase.

On the other hand, Europe is expected to add a total of 34.9 GW in offshore wind capacity, down from its previous estimates made last year — a result of rising costs and supply chain disruptions, it said.

The council believes China's control of 70 percent of the market for some key components for offshore wind projects means "restrictive trade policies such as those proposed by the EU and the US look certain to create bottlenecks".

An analyst said a remarkable surge in investment and innovation has helped cement and will further consolidate China's position as an offshore wind energy giant.

The country has made remarkable strides in offshore wind technology in recent years, with cutting-edge designs for wind turbines, floating platforms and advanced grid integration solutions, all of which have catapulted China to the forefront of innovation in the field, said Luo Zuoxian, head of intelligence and research at the Sinopec Economics and Development Research Institute.

China's control of key components used in offshore wind projects will further cement its dominance, making Chinese manufacturers the primary suppliers of these critical components, with substantial influence on the global supply chain for offshore wind projects, he said.

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