I’ve just returned from China, visiting offshore wind turbine manufacturers across the country. I found the country continues to be a fascinating and exciting place, especially now, for offshore wind.
The offshore market in China might be small now but it is about to accelerate fast. The upcoming five-year plan will contain many signals about how quick this take off will be. The Chinese wind industry already has strong links between turbine makers, developers and investment groups. As well as supporting domestic growth, these links are likely to facilitate the introduction of offshore turbines to export markets faster than many might expect.
China already has plenty of 4-6MW turbine designs in operation, including some that look very interesting. In my view, there are a number of companies that have the capability to design and deliver the much bigger turbines that they will need to compete globally in offshore wind.
I’m back in China in April to see how it’s developing and looking at where and how UK capabilities can be deployed to help build the capacity and drive down the cost of energy.
Finally, I’d like to wish all my new friends I met in China a very Happy New Year! It seems fitting for offshore wind that according to Chinese calendar we’ve just started the year of the “Fire Monkey” which is associated with ambition and adventure.