The key message of China Wind Power (CWP) 2018 was “Preparing for the pathway to grid parity.” In China, as well as in other parts of the world where wind power is growing strongly, the primary means for us to reach better parity are lowering the cost of energy, deploying large-power offshore wind drive train systems and after-sales services.
In May 2018, China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) announced that China will roll out a competitive bidding system for builders of new wind farms starting this year. And the NEA has previously said it is aiming for price parity between wind and coal power by 2020, at which time there would be no more need for state subsidies.
At the CWP 2018 seminars, experts, wind farm owners and OEMs agreed that technological innovation and lowering the cost of energy are the two main ways of tackling the challenges of grid parity.
Since 2011, we have been emphasizing that our innovative The Switch permanent magnet generators and full-power converters have made lowering the cost of energy simple, improving annual energy production (AEP), minimizing total life cycle costs (TLC) and cutting back on operational costs.
Offshore is another hot topic. The power generated by offshore wind installations keeps climbing to mind-boggling new heights, while turbines – and their key components needed to generate such power – continue to reach record size. How can these huge components be built in a smart way to make them viable for manufacture and transport?
We have the answer. Segmenting the stator of a PMG requires very special construction. But this is a capability the company has mastered to deliver this key component to the world’s largest offshore turbines.
As the wind industry matures, maintenance and spare parts have become the focus. At our stand, wind farm owners asked us often about how to achieve efficient operation throughout the lifetime of the wind turbine. The best possible customer care and technical support from us would be the answer.
Grid parity is a great challenge to everyone in the wind industry, including us. With strong support from Yaskawa, the Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch China team plans to further explore the challenges of grid parity and continue to prepare for the future.
Manfred Stern, CEO of Yaskawa Europe, visited our stand during CWP 2018 and praised the China team for their passion and efforts.