CHINA: Chinese manufacturers have struggled to win business on the global stage, but that looks set to change as companies seek greater export business with the help of European expertise.
In 2007, Huayi Wind Energy Development, otherwise known as Hewind, exported three 780kW turbines to a Chilean developer, marking the start of the world’s largest wind market stretching its reach to other corners of the globe.
Since then, approximately 850 turbines have been exported from China, an average of just over 100 units a year, and totalling a mere 1.5GW by the end of 2014. In that time, China’s domestic wind capacity has exploded from 2.6GW at the start of 2007 (GWEC), to 114GW (Windpower Intelligence).
This lack of export activity has been attributed to the rapid growth of China’s domestic market, which has put the country’s original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the enviable position of not needing to look elsewhere for sales. But with development in the Chinese market expected to shrink over the next two years — with annual installations estimated to reach a low of 20GW in 2017, from more than 25GW this year, according to FTI Intelligence — OEMs are starting to look further afield for wind contracts to supplement the home sector. But to succeed in the global market, Chinese OEMS will have to address the age-old concerns in external markets surrounding turbine quality.