GWEC highlights the impact of coronavirus on China’s wind energy industry

Published: 14 March 2020 - 6 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

The coronavirus outbreak will impact the supply chain and installation operations in China’s wind energy sector, as well as the worldwide wind industry, according to a report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA).

GWEC Market Intelligence interviewed six Chinese turbine OEMs (which collectively held more than 75 per cent of Chinese market share in 2018), one foreign turbine OEM, one utility, one stock-listed independent power producer, five-component suppliers and one material supplier based in China.

GWEC concluded that while the virus will impact supply chain and installation operations, the slowdown will not be as significant as reported by some industry observers (for example predicting a halving of China’s installations in 2020). China has the largest wind power capacity in the world. In 2018, China and North America combined made up about 50 per cent of the world’s total installed wind generation capacity.

All respondents confirmed that operations have resumed following the extended Chinese New Year holiday.

The major Chinese turbine OEMs (Goldwind, Envision, Mingyang, Shanghai Electric, CSIC Haizhuang, DEC and CRRC) and three foreign turbine OEMs (Vestas, Siemens Gamesa and GE Renewable Energy) all reported they resumed production in the week beginning Feb. 10. Other component manufacturers – including NGC, Winergy, ZF (wind gearbox producers), Yongji (China’s largest generator supplier) and Vertiv (a wind power converter exporter) – also confirmed that they resumed operations in the same week.

China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has initiated an industry survey on the impact of COVID-19.

The aim will be to assess the value of extending the onshore wind feed-in-tariff deadline set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

If an extension is approved, it is expected that the number of onshore wind projects capable of capitalizing on the FIT will not be revised, as the industry will rush to install projects within the extended deadline.

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