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UK And China Launch Joint Offshore Wind Centre

Posted: 29/03/2019

The UK and China opened its new offshore wind research centre in Yantai City, China, which will help develop research programmes into renewable energy.

Earlier this week (March 21st), the TUS-ORE Catapult Research Centre (TORC) was launched in the Chinese city, marking the relationship between the two nations and the world’s largest offshore green energy markets.

The joint venture company is formed by the UK government and industry-backed Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult together with Beijing’s TUS Wind Technology Co Ltd and TUS Mingshi Science and Innovation Co Ltd.

ORE Catapult’s Chief Executive Andrew Jamieson, commented: “Our new research centre, in partnership with TUS, will support businesses as they take advantage of a new wave of opportunities to engage with one of the fastest-growing offshore wind markets in the world – and present a fantastic opportunity to develop a supply chain that can compete on a global scale.”

The £2 million facility has been established to support the growth of the offshore wind industries in both China and Britain.

As well as help conduct research, it will offer commercial support for Chinese developers. It will also showcase the use of new technologies at a 300MW Shandong Province offshore wind farm.

Mr Jamieson stated global exports of this form of energy are expected to come in at £2.6 billion a year by 2030 for British companies.

Therefore, he commented: “Now is the time for innovative companies to act and establish themselves at the heart of the Chinese market.”

The UK is currently the world’s largest offshore wind market, and RenewableUK recently reported that its offshore wind farms generated more electricity than any other source earlier this month.  

It revealed 38 per cent of power in the country between Monday March 11th and Sunday March 17th was generated by wind, higher than gas (28.5 per cent), nuclear (20.9 per cent), biomass (7.3 per cent), coal (2.5 per cent), hydro (two per cent), and other sources (0.8 per cent).

However, advancements in Asia suggest the UK could be overtaken by China over the next 11 years. This is due to declining offshore wind costs, and the opportunities present to create offshore wind sites connected to its coastal cities.

Indeed, according to Business Green, the Chinese government has planned to invest $100 billion (£75.91 billion) in wind projects, which include a 5GW offshore site in the South China Sea. It also has plans for a further 10GW in the pipeline.

Therefore, it is advantageous for the UK to team up with China as it advances its position in the renewable energy sector.

TUS Clean Energy’s Senior Vice-President Charlie Du commented: “Following the development of TORC, I believe the government will provide more favourable policies to UK companies seeking to enter China to create real benefit to both sides, furthering the technological co-operation between China and the UK and creating signification opportunities and reliable incubation service for UK companies.”

As more offshore wind farms are established, it is essential emergency response procedures and health and safety standards are upheld at all sites to ensure the protection of all employees working in the renewables sector.

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