Qin Haiyan: Under the target of carbon neutrality, China-Norway offshore wind cooperation expects promising prospects
In the past decade, with policy support, the development and construction of offshore wind in China continue to speed up. Especially during the 13th Five-Year Plan (‘FYP’) period, China’s offshore wind developed rapidly, with both installed capacity and technology advancement ranking at the top of the world. In 2020, China’s new grid-connected capacity of offshore wind reached a record high of nearly 4 GW, leading the world for three consecutive years. Following the 13th FYP, 2021 starts the 14th FYP. Driven by China’s carbon target of peaking emission by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2060 (“30·60 target”), China’s offshore wind will continue its fast development.
The “30·60 target” will bring new momentum to developing China’s offshore wind. After the proposition of the carbon target, China’s offshore wind is embraced with development opportunities. In offshore wind, the capacity for a single turbine is large and annual utilization hours is high, and these characteristics make offshore wind currently one of the key technologies to decarbonize the energy system and achieve zero emissions. Offshore wind is also the important support for the realization of China’s “30·60 Goal”. During the 14th FYP period, China’s annual new installed capacity of offshore wind is expected to reach over 5GW.
The high-quality development of China’s offshore wind during the 14th FYP period cannot be achieved without policy support and joint efforts of the whole industry. During the 14th FYP period, China’s offshore wind will enter a “post-subsidy” era, which means the central subsidy for offshore wind will be completely withdrawn by 2022. In order to meet the target of 5GW of new offshore wind capacity per year, further policy support is needed, including subsidies from local governments. Power grid enterprises shall invest in offshore wind transmissions and shall include the transmission and distribution price. Financial institutions shall establish offshore wind funds and lowered long-term loan interest rates and so on. In addition, the development of China’s offshore wind cannot be separated from the joint efforts of the whole industry. They shall help achieve parity as early as possible by speeding up the technological innovation. In recent years, the enterprises have been increasing their efforts in technological innovation, focusing on reducing the turbine cost, improving the generating capacity of each turbine, improving product quality, and actively carrying out research on floating turbine bases, new material application and other edge-cutting fields, so as to reserve technology for future industrial development. By the end of the 14th FYP, the cost per kilowatt hour of China’s offshore wind power is expected to drop by more than 40%, and parity will be achieved.
International cooperation is essential for the rapid development of offshore wind in China during the 14FYP period. In the context of “post-epidemic”, offshore wind industry needs to deepen international cooperation and build a transnational industrial cooperation system with stronger risk resistance and higher efficiency.
Norwegian companies started early on offshore wind and have rich experience. They can contribute expertise and resources to the development and management of offshore wind farms by leveraging their technological advantages and experience. Equinor, DNV, Aker Solutions and OHT have extensive experience in marine engineering, major component transportation, offshore wind farm development, installation, and maintenance. Also, they are role models in transforming traditional energy sources and driving economic growth through the offshore wind industry. Norwegian companies can leverage their advantages in technology and experience, work with Chinese strategic partners to expand the depth and breadth of business cooperation, provide the most suitable technology and solutions according to the development needs of different regions. They can help China optimize its energy structure, upgrade its industrial chain, and accelerate its cost reduction of offshore wind. China Power International Holding (CPIH), a subsidiary of State Power Investment Corporation, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Equinor to jointly develop offshore wind projects in China and Europe, opening a new chapter in the cooperation between China and Norway in offshore wind. I believe there is more room for cooperation and more potential between China and Norway in future offshore wind.
General Secretary of Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA)
Vice-chairman of IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Application (IECRE)
Vice Chairman of World Wind Energy Association (WWEA)
Director of China General Certification Center (CGC)