ChinaCarbon.net, 19 June 2014: The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) today announced the introduction of China’s offshore wind energy tariff policy. The tariffs have been determined after consultation between the NDRC and the National Energy Administration (NEA). The introduction of the tariff policy is expected to expedite the capacity addition in China’s offshore wind energy sector which has seen a substantially slower growth rate compared to the onshore wind energy sector.
According to the policy, projects located in the inter-tidal region will get a tariff of 0.75 yuan (US $0.12) per kWh while projects located offshore will receive a tariff of 0.85 yuan (US $0.14) per kWh. The tariffs will be applicable to the projects commissioned by 2017 and could be reconsidered after 2017. In 2009, the NDRC had set tariffs for onshore wind energy projects between 0.51 and 0.61 yuan per kWh.
Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has welcomed this move expects the offshore wind energy sector to aggressively invest in capacity expansion after years of sluggish regulatory and market progress.
Three years ago, the first round of concession tenders awarded tariffs to four projects totalling 1 GW capacity, and marked a new era for China’s wind industry. However, due to the low tariffs and the complexity of permission by various government departments, the offshore sector never really took off and the first four concession projects were also postponed.
According to GWEC, seven offshore projects are currently under construction in China with a cumulatively capacity of 1,560 MW. Three of these are being developed by China Longyuan Power Group and have an aggregate capacity of 800 MW. GWEC estimates that China’s total wind energy capacity could reach as much as 300 GW by 2020, 400 GW by 2030 and 1,000 GW by 2050, providing 17% of the total electricity generated.
The Chinese government has set a target to achieve 5 GW of offshore wind energy installed capacity by 2015 and 30 GW by 2020.