The latest data from China’s leading industry body for the wind power sector indicates that the country’s offshore wind capacity posted a surge in growth last year.
The 2014 China Wind Power Installation Capacity Statistics (2014年中国风电装机容量统计) just released by the Chinese Wind Energy Association indicate that in 2014 China added a total of 61 offshore wind power units with a total capacity of 229.3 MW.
Compared to the 39 MW of new offshore wind power capacity added in 2013, this marks an increase of 487.9%
Despite last year’s growth spurt, China’s offshore wind farms continue to account for just a minuscule portion of the country’s total wind power capacity.
As of the end of 2014, the total capacity of China’s offshore wind power was 657.9 MW, comprising just 0.58% of the country’s combined wind power capacity.
According to figures from the China Electricity Council (CEC), China had a total of 95.81 GW in grid-connected wind capacity as of the end of December 2014.
Most of China’s offshore wind power is located within the intertidal zone, accounting for 434.5 MW of capacity and comprising roughly 66% of the total.
Intertidal offshore wind farms also comprised the bulk of new installations last year, accounting for 56.69% of added capacity.
According to Gao Hongbiao, CEO of Jiangsu Offshore Longyuan Wind Power, this trend is unlikely to continue in future.
“As offshore wind power pushes towards deeper waters further away from the shoreline, intertidal projects are not expected to enjoy large-scale increase,” said Gao.
Gao said that the shift of China’s offshore wind power further away from land is likely to have a negative impact on costs.
“With regard to costs, initial construction costs for inshore projects are comparatively high, given that they are further away from land. Basic platform investment is relatively high as well.”