Westwood’s Offshore Wind Turbine Evolution
Will the introduction of new, domestic designed, high-capacity turbine models help Chinese developers bridge the capacity gap?
- Offshore wind turbine technology has seen a dramatic step-change over the last decade with the latest developments in the UK such as SSE/Equinor/ENI’s Dogger Bank A & B and RWE’s Sofia opting for the latest 13-14MW models from GE & Siemens Gamesa. Five years ago, the average turbine size installed was just 4MW. Larger turbines have played a critical part in reducing LCOEs for offshore wind farms and improving project economics.
- China is a huge offshore wind market with an estimated installed capacity of 7.8GW (second only to the UK) and a project pipeline estimated at around 40GW. However, the Chinese market has relied heavily on a domestic supply-chain which has seen its developments lag European farms with regards to Turbine size.
- The announcement in September this year that Dongfang Electric Corporation will provide its new 10MW turbine model to Fujian Energy Group’s Changle Waihai project is a potential “game-changer”, allowing Chinese developers to bridge the capacity gap with their European counterparts and improve economics for deeper, more remote offshore wind farms.