China’s wind turbine costs fifth of US

‘Historic breakthrough’: China’s installed wind turbine cost drops to one-fifth of the US in green energy race

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post has reported that:

  • The installed wind turbine cost in China has hit a record low price, dropping 45 per cent since last year
  • It is now just one-fifth the equivalent cost in the United States, solidifying China’s place as a global leader in renewable energy

Commenting on this, China’s World notes, “In the real world, beyond the bluster, China is already the leader in the green-energy ‘race’. This will only move it further ahead. Such breakthroughs will, as usual, be shared with all non-supremacist nations that believe in a mutually beneficial approach to world affairs.”

Extracts from the SCMP article:

Wind power is soaring ahead in China, with the installation price of turbines dropping nearly 45 per cent thanks to technological advancements and economies of scale, according to government tender documents.

Wind power capacity grew from 4 gigawatts in 2007 to 329GW in 2021, representing a 31 per cent annual growth rate, according to the researchers from the school of economics and finance at Xian Jiaotong University and the China Project on Energy, Economy and Environment at Harvard University.

In a separate study published on Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal Energy Economics, researchers in China and the US said that China has become “a global leader in renewable energy” with “remarkable growth and transformation” in wind power in the last two decades.

The figures from one major project in the Gobi desert suggest that China has solidified its place as a global leader in the green energy race, putting it well ahead of the United States, with the installed wind turbine price just one-fifth of the equivalent cost in America.

The installation price is now slightly more than 2 yuan (US$0.28) per watt, significantly cheaper than last year’s lowest domestic price of 3.9 yuan per watt.

The tender documents for a wind power project of 9.1 million kilowatts in Inner Mongolia, the lowest price offered by companies submitting tenders was 2.15 yuan per watt, with the highest being 2.7 yuan per watt – a pattern likely to be repeated across the market.

Meanwhile stateside, the US Department of Energy reported the average installed cost of wind projects in 2021 was US$1,500 per kW, or US$1.50 per watt (10.8 yuan). This marked a drop of more than 40 per cent from its peak in 2010. The costs between 2018 and 2021 stood at around US$1,600 per kW. In 2022, the average installed cost decreased further to US$1,370 per kW, according to the Land-Based Wind Market Report published in August by the energy department.

Source: South China Morning Post, 28 Mar 2024.