Webinar highlights potential of offshore wind energy

By Zhang Liying
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, July 8, 2020
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A webinar organized by the Royal Danish Embassy on July 2 in Beijing highlighted the huge untapped potential of offshore wind energy.

Brent Wanner, an energy analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), said there is a growing disconnect between climate ambitions and real-life energy and emission trends.

Photo taken on Sept. 27, 2017, shows wind turbines at an offshore wind power plant in Rudong County of Nantong, east China's Jiangsu province. [Photo/Xinhua]

No single and simple solution is available to address our global environmental challenges, and all low carbon technologies have a role to play, Wanner said.

He said offshore wind has been expanding impressively. "Offshore wind power provided 0.3% of the global electricity supply in 2018, but the market has grown by almost 30% per year since 2010, second only to solar."

Yet the Offshore Wind Outlook published by the IEA last November showed that today's offshore wind market hasn't even come close to growing to its full potential.

With high-quality resources available in most major markets, offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420,000 TWh per year worldwide, 18 times bigger than global electricity demand today, according to the report.

Wanner believed that offshore wind capacity is set to grow around the world. "While the European Union will continue to be in the driver's seat through to 2040, China continues to move strongly forward and many new markets are gaining a foothold," he said.

There are good resources spread along the entire coast of China, Wanner explained. Offshore wind could operate at capacity factors of 40% or higher along much of the coast of the country.

Li Yan, a senior technical expert of the China Southern Power Grid, said by the end of 2019, China's cumulative installed capacity reached 5,930 MW, ranking third in the world.

In 2018-2019, a total of 95 offshore wind projects were approved in China, mostly in the coastal provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian and the municipality of Shanghai.

According to the Offshore Wind Outlook, global offshore wind capacity is projected to increase fifteen-fold by 2040, becoming a trillion dollar industry over the next two decades, matching capital spending on gas- and coal-fired capacity over the same period.

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