What Next for China’s Offshore Wind Industry Post-2021: GWEC

From its first 102 MW Donghai Bridge Wind Farm near Shanghai commissioned in 2010, China has since been busy building swathes of turbines at sea with nearly 7 GW of capacity already installed as of December 2019. While China is considered a late bloomer in the offshore wind industry, it is expected to surpass offshore wind pioneers like Germany and the UK in terms of cumulative installations by as early as this year.

Now the question on everyone’s mind is: what’s next for China’s offshore wind industry? GWEC Market Intelligence outlines our forecasts for this booming market, as well as the opportunities and challenges ahead to further accelerate the growth of China’s offshore wind industry.

Although the COVID-19 crisis first hit China, this has not slowed down the growth of offshore wind in the country. With the current Feed-in-Tariff for offshore set to expire by the end of 2021 and no signs of this deadline being extended, GWEC Market Intelligence expects that there will still be an installation rush to meet this deadline, with 11.4 GW of new capacity expected to come online from 2019 to 2021.

After this surge of new installations, the market is expected to see a peak in 2021 followed by a drop when the central government will terminate the subsidy for offshore wind. However, growth given China’s huge offshore wind potential and market size, GWEC Market Intelligence expects growth to continue with an average of 4.77 GW of annual capacity added from 2022 to 2030.

With this predicted growth along with a wave of policy, technology and market developments in favour of further driving the offshore wind industry, GWEC expects that China will surpass the UK as the world’s largest offshore market in total installations by 2021, if not 2020.

In total, 52 GW of offshore wind capacity is expected to be grid-connected nationwide from 2019 to 2030. Jiangsu, Fujian and Guangdong provinces will continue to lead the market growth – as of the end of 2019, these 3 regions hold 80.8 percent of the country’s offshore wind capacity and will contribute significantly of the new build additions in the next 10 years.

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