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May set to champion UK's wind farm technology during visit

2018-February-1       Source: Chinadaily.com.cn

Last week, the governor of China's Guangdong province announced plans to construct 10 new offshore wind farms off the coast of South China.

An offshore wind farm generates power near Nantong City, Jiangsu province. Li cungen / xinhua

Last week, the governor of China's Guangdong province announced plans to construct 10 new offshore wind farms off the coast of South China.

The giant turbines will generate 3.65 gigawatts of electricity, which is enough to power more than 2.5 million homes.

The story is the same in many other coastal regions of China, where fleets of turbines are springing up and powering the nation's clean-energy revolution.

Last year, China invested $132.6 billion in clean energy projects, a record-breaking 40 percent of the global total. Around $11 billion of the spending was directed at offshore wind projects.

The United Kingdom government has identified China's offshore wind boom as a huge opportunity for Britain, which is home to the most developed offshore wind industry in the world.

The UK has more than 1,400 offshore wind turbines in operation, and British companies have won at least 115 contracts to help build and service 50 offshore wind projects abroad. The vast majority of these contracts are in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States.

Meanwhile, Danish and German contractors have snapped up dozens of contracts in the Chinese market and the UK government has increased efforts to ensure Britain remains competitive.

Greg Clark,the UK's business secretary, traveled to China in December to meet representatives from China's National Energy Administration, paving the way for Prime Minister Theresa May's visit.

Following that meeting, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, a research center based in Glasgow, signed an agreement with Tus-Wind, the wind power subsidiary of Beijing-based Tus-Clean Energy, to collaborate on the construction of a 500-megawatt offshore wind farm in Shandong province.

"Last year, the Chinese offshore wind market grew by 40 percent, and that growth is expected to continue," said Stephen Wyatt, research and innovation director for the Catapult. "What we are trying to do through our collaboration with Tus is to act as a launch-pad for small, high-growth-potential UK companies to access the Chinese market."

Some British companies have already begun to make inroads into China's offshore sector. Tekmar Energy, which specializes in cable protection, is working on array cables for the 400-megawatt Binhai North offshore wind farm off the coast of East China's Jiangsu province.

And UK-based wind turbine platform and foundation designer Atkins is building infrastructure for the 300-megawatt Binhai South offshore wind farm in the same region. Building turbine foundations in the ocean off China's East Coast is a highly technical endeavor because the seabed is made up of soft, silty materials.

"China represents a huge potential growth market for offshore wind and we're keen to share our experiences from the UK and Europe to help develop the market and the industry in Asia," said Andy Thompson, market director for offshore and onshore assets at Atkins.

Editor: Jasmine

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