For years China has been trying to improve its sustainable energy production but to do so Chinese companies had to rely on patents and techniques from the rest of the world. Due to an increase in demand (and production knowledge) China is now poised to make the best, most efficient, and easiest to maintain wind turbines.
Already, the amount of wind energy outputted in China puts the rest of the planet to shame.
However, since China’s total generation is more than that of all European Union countries combined, wind’s percentage is large in absolute terms.
Liming Qiao, China director of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), said: “Two per cent sounds small but it’s not when you consider China’s total electricity.
“In fact, last year wind surpassed nuclear to become number three after coal and hydro, and it’s got a lot more potential.”
The sheer scale of the wind market is encouraging mass production which has lowered prices and fostered innovation.
Until recently, Chinese wind manufacturers produced Western-designed turbines under licence. Some acquired a reputation for turning out inferior products.
Now, the wind boom has led to a flurry of new designs. Goldwind, for example, offers a turbine which does not need a gearbox but instead has a “direct drive” system designed to be cheaper to maintain.