The outlook for wind power in China

As part of the Machinery Production Yearbook program, IMS Research produces a specific yearbook on China’s machinery production.


As part of the Machinery Production Yearbook program, IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., produces a specific yearbook on China’s machinery production. The data is from Machinery Production Yearbook-China-2012 Edition.

Sinovel, a company in China supplying wind turbines, recently laid off many employees who have just graduated from university. This news drew the public’s attention to China’s wind turbine industry. After a sunny past few years, a chill has descended; after growing 30% in 2010, the industry contracted 15% in 2011.

There are several problems causing this rapid decline in the wind turbine business, including overcapacity and difficulties in connecting to the grid. But I believe that if the opportunity is taken in this period to make the necessary adjustment, then the wind turbine industry in China will take advantage to speed up industry consolidation and build up momentum again over the next few years. IMS Research believes revenues from wind turbines will continue to grow steadily from 2012 to 2016, reaching more than $10 billion in 2016.

According to Chinese Wind Power Development Roadmap 2050, there are three stages expected to occur in the following three stages.

Stage 1 (From 2011 to 2020): New installed wind power is forecast to be 15 GW/year. The cumulative installed wind power will reach 200 GW by the end of 2020.

Stage 2 (From 2021 to 2030): New installed wind power is forecast to rise to reach 20 GW/year. Then the accumulated installed wind power at the end of 2030 will be 400 GW.

Stage 3 (From 2031 to 2050): New installed wind power is forecast to rise to 30 GW/year. The accumulated installed wind power at the end of 2050 will be 1,000 GW.

Although the short-term outlook for the wind turbine business is not good, we have strong confidence in the long-term trend for wind turbines.

Moreover, I believe that there are different priorities for each stage. In the first stage, Chinese wind power will continue to focus on onshore wind power, and developing the intertidal wind power. In the second stage, regardless of inter-province transmission, the cost of electricity generated from wind power should be less than the cost from coal. In the meantime, the industry should pay equal attention to both onshore and offshore wind power. In the third stage, onshore and offshore wind power will both achieve comprehensive development.

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