If there’s one thing the UK is good at, it’s generating offshore wind energy. No surprise really, given the isles are buffeted by 40% of all Europe’s winds (as I’m sure most of you can attest to). We put it to good use, though, and the UK is the largest offshore wind energy producer globally.
It would appear there’s a new kid on the block though, with China massively ramping up its offshore capacity. Whilst China has been famous for its levels of wind generation for a while, most of this is onshore and they’ve had a real issue getting power generated where it needs to go. Desert winds near the Gobi Desert generate huge amounts of energy, but getting it to China’s economic centre in Beijing is tough and up to 20% of it is wasted.
Offshore generation has no such issue, and China is massively increasing its number of coastal wind farms. Their aim is to hit a 52-gigawatt capacity by 2030. For reference, the UK currently has a 10.4-gigawatt capacity so that’s a pretty staggering figure.
Credit where it’s due, China’s ambition to move away from coal power to renewable sources is a step in the right direction. If you’d like to read more on China’s offshore wind revolution you can here: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/china-wind-farms-climate-crisis
So what do we all make of it, and of wind energy’s role in the future?