China’s wind market is in the midst of surging growth that seems certain to position it as a long-term global leader in the production of onshore and offshore wind power. As a country highly receptive to new technology, it has the opportunity to capitalise on that growth and ensure wind realises its substantial and meaningful contribution to the country’s energy mix by investing in advanced digital solutions that realise maximum production and profits.
That is according to ONYX Insight, a full turbine predictive maintenance solutions provider driving the future of the wind industry, which is calling on developers and operators in the country to avoid the temptation of ‘quick fix’ digital tools and to instead invest in first-class digital solutions that will help optimise China’s wind potential, and end its over-reliance on coal.
China built more new wind farm capacity in 2020 – 71.7GW – than the whole world combined in the year before, a rise of more than 60% on the previous year. Additionally, Chinese government figures suggest the country connected 10.8GW of new wind power capacity to the grid in the first half of 2021 – an increase of 72% year-on-year. However, with these huge levels of installed capacity comes a substantial risk of lost energy if turbines are not optimised to run efficiently.
In its white paper, ‘How smart digitalisation will help you thrive in a post-pandemic world’, ONYX Insight warned the global wind industry of the dangers of relying on cheaper, AI-only digital services. Approximately 50% of digital analytics providers to the wind industry often draw insights from only one data stream and - while collecting data - don’t include a strategy on how to use it to optimise assets.
With higher capacity turbines coming online, and as fleets mature and fall out of warranty, China has an extraordinary opportunity to benefit from advanced digital solutions that can cut the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) by up to 12% and save up to 30% on O&M budgets.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for the wind industry in China,” says Yuan Huang, ONYX Insight’s Engineering Manager in China. “The growth in capacity is on an entirely different scale to the rest of the world. In the coming 20 years it is perfectly plausible that wind’s position as the third largest provider of electricity in China will be elevated – helping to propel the nation to its 2060 target, without coming at the expense of continuous high-growth in the economy.
“But simply installing thousands of big turbines is only one part of the puzzle. Ensuring that they deliver maximum production across their lifespan - potentially over a 30-plus year period - is another. This is where China has the opportunity to tangibly benefit from high-quality digital solutions that will help to ensure turbines installed now have the longevity they are capable of, maintaining sustainable and high-levels of energy output.”
Yuan continues: “We know that operators and developers in China are highly receptive to new technologies - they can get ahead of the curve now to ensure they are adopting the right digital solutions, like condition monitoring and data aggregation systems, which seek to drive down maintenance costs.
“This, along with China’s huge project development pipeline, is what will see wind make tangible headway in reducing the levelised cost of energy and end China’s reliance on coal.”
ONYX Insight | http://www.onyxinsight.com