It’s hard to find anything that China isn’t already the world leader. You can now add China wind turbines to that list.
As much as the media scold them for their carbon signature, you’d never think that they are expending these kinds of resources on building perhaps the biggest wind turbine in the world – but they are.
Current Chinese Wind Power
Most people are not aware that China’s windfarm capacity increased more in 2020 than the entire world combined in 2019. In fact, they set an annual record for their Chinese wind farm installations despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a recent study, China led the world’s most significant increase in wind power capacity ever as its developers built nearly 100GW worth of China windfarms in 2020. To put this in perspective, that amount of wind power could power nearly three times the number of homes in the United Kingdom.
Most of their new windfarms were installed onshore, which offset a 20% drop in the new offshore wind power capacity. This was all revealed in a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which acknowledged the unprecedented achievement and addition to the Chinese wind market.
Chinese renewable energy developers were motivated by an upcoming cut-off for new China wind power subsidies from the Chinese government, which will more than likely slow down in 2022.
Eyes on creating the biggest wind turbine in the world
Despite this marvelous feat, China is not content making its mark on the wind energy market.
Just a few years ago, General Electric unveiled its Haliade-X turbine, the world’s biggest and most powerful offshore wind turbine. It stands 853 feet, and its rotor measures 722 feet across. One rotation of this massive turbine could easily power a UK home for two days.
A Haliade-X prototype that was installed in the Netherlands set a world record by cranking out 312 MW-hours of power in a single day.
But standby as this giant turbine is about to get outdone. China’s MingYang Smart Energy Group let the world know that they are developing its MySE 16.0-242 – which is a 16 MW turbine that can reportedly power as many as 20,000 homes.
This Chinese wind turbine will be 866 feet tall, only a few feet higher than the Haliade-X turbine. However, its rotor will be much larger, measuring 794 feet across.
It’s pretty difficult to imagine piecing such a structure together in the middle of the ocean, but that’s precisely what’s going to happen. The company reports that the massive unit can either be anchored to the ocean floor or attached to a floating base.
Developers claim that this new unit is capable of withstanding typhoon force winds.
Current plans are to build the MySE 16.0-242 wind turbine prototype in 2022. After that, commercial production of the wind turbine would officially begin sometime in early 2024.
The UK’s Natural Environment Research Council began a study referred to as the ECOWind. The study’s objective is to gather and analyze data on offshore wind’s impact on marine ecosystems over four years. Such a project has stirred up concern over its potential effects on marine life and the environment.
As the world’s leader in wind power, China appears willing to cooperate with any adverse findings. And as the demands for renewable energy sources continue to grow, wind power will keep scaling up, both in the sheer number of wind turbine installations and the power capacity of each turbine.
MingYang is a public company that was founded in 2006. Its stock shares trade publicly on the Shanghai exchange.
The company recently closed a contract for ten turbines (earlier models than the new 16.0-242). These wind turbines will be installed off the coast of Taranto, Italy. This project will result in the very first Mediterranean offshore wind farm, along with being MingYang’s very first European deal.