The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has launched a new research programme aiming to accelerate Chinese offshore wind development with the help of UK companies.
The International ORE Research Platform, funded by Innovate UK, links UK-based technology developers with Chinese authorities including the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), major Chinese wind farm developers and the Chinese Wind Energy Equipment Association (CWEEA).
The research platform will initially see UK companies working on technical solutions for the newly proposed Shandong offshore wind farm in the South China Sea, which will have more than 200MW installed. Working with Chinese developers and technology partners, the platform will set specific challenges for UK companies to address at a series of workshops to start in December 2017.
According to ORE Catapult, the developers of these solutions will have the opportunity to supply the new wind farm, as well as source funding to demonstrate their technology in the rapidly increasing South China Sea offshore wind market.
“There are major opportunities for high-tech companies in the UK offshore wind supply chain – with the Chinese government announcing it wishes to invest USD 100bn in wind power projects by 2020,” James Battensby, ORE Catapult’s Technical Bid Manager and Project Leader, said.
In addition to the Chinese opportunities, the international research platform is reviewing opportunities for UK companies in the United States, which currently has plans for the expansion of new offshore wind farms off the east coast of Massachusetts, the company said.
According to China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), the country plans to invest CNY 2.5 trillion (USD 361 billion) in renewable energy projects by 2020.
The investment is part of the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan for Renewable Energy Development which is expected to ensure that renewable energy projects contribute to half of the country’s electricity generation by 2020.