In a bid to increase profitability among its offshore wind farms, China has introduced a feed-in tariff system designed to make the generation of electricity via wind farms economically viable. China has recently been a leading advocate of the tariff system as the Beijing government seeks to diversify both the economy and the means of energy generation. With the New York Times last week announcing that green power is taking root in China, the move to encourage the take up of wind power generation comes as no surprise as the Asian government is supporting all kinds of renewable energy, especially solar and wind.
The Chinese wind feed-in tariff system will inevitably attract investments in the offshore wind generation industry there with the hope that it will enable the clean, wind energy to compete with that generated via coal fired plants. The guaranteed premium rate which will be offered to wind generators will be met by the existing grid operators with the additional cost being spread over all electricity consumers. The idea is that bigger, more profitable wind plants will receive a more generous tariff rate in order to help them catch up with the bigger wind farms.
The tariff payments are set at around 0.51 Yuan the equivalent of £0.05 per unit of electricity fed in to the grid, depending on the size of the wind farm. Compared with the rate paid for coal fired electricity (0.34 Yuan) the wind farms will e set to receive a generous payment. The announcement by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) stated that the scheme will,
“change current inconsistent pricing, foster clear expectations and facilitate investments in the sector”.
The previous system which operated regarding wind power electricity purchasing involved public bidding using low-rate tariffs which did not enable most wind farms to gain grid connectivity, a hindrance which meant that at least 20 per cent of China’s wind power producers were unprofitable. With the feed-in tariff system generally regarded as by far the most effective means of generating capital in green energy, China will be set to succeed in its bid to diversify its economy and become a major player in the world of green energy production.