UK-China Offshore Wind Collaboration

Published on 2020-06-29

After several months of planning, Scottish Development International is very pleased to have hosted the first of six UK-China Offshore Wind webinars on 23 June, in collaboration with the CBBC, DIT and our Chinese media partner Europe Offshore Wind.

These webinars are designed for leading industry experts and companies from both countries to discuss common technical and operational challenges, and identify areas for future collaboration.

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Transitioning to subsidy-free projects

Our opening meeting focused on how the industry can transition to subsidy-free projects. This is a key policy objective for the Chinese government, which has set a 2021 target for phasing out subsidies for new offshore wind farms. We fielded a strong Scottish speaker lineup, with Paul O'Brien from the DeepWind Cluster and Tony Laing from the National Subsea Research Initiative presenting on Scotland's experience of driving down costs, not least the last CfD round that saw the strike price fall below £40 per MWh for the first time, which is around half of China's current feed-in-tariff.

Both speakers highlighted Scotland's many engineering and technological breakthroughs, ranging from foundations and moorings, power and storage systems, to automation and robotics, that are likely to reduce costs further in the forthcoming ScotWind projects. They also stressed the importance of Scotland's 55-year North Sea oil and gas experience as a major driver behind the competitiveness of the Scottish offshore wind industry. The presentations were followed by a very busy Q&A session that revolved around five key questions:

  1. How should developers plan and implement cost reductions?
  2. How should Chinese oil and gas companies approach energy transition?
  3. How far is floating wind from commercialisation?
  4. How does hydrogen fit with energy transition and offshore wind?
  5. How can Scottish and Chinese companies collaborate on these opportunities?

Upcoming meetings

We will address these questions more fully over the course of this webinar series, which will dive deeper into more specific topics and with different expert speakers to help guide the conversations. Below is the schedule for the next five meetings.

  • Floating Wind and Deepwater Operations (28 July)
  • Energy Transition and Green Hydrogen (25 August)
  • R&D Trends and Emerging Technologies (22 September)
  • Innovation in Energy Storage for Offshore Wind (27 October)
  • Best Practices in Operations & Maintenance (24 November)

More details about these webinar sessions can be found here>>

If you would like to attend these meetings, please contact Jiawei Xu (jiawei.xu@cbbc.org.cn) and Anna Zhou (anna.zhou@cbbc.org.cn) at the China-Britain Business Council, who will put you on the mailing list.

How can SDI help?

Offshore wind is a global business, and there is clearly a strong appetite in China to work with the UK. The key is to bring our two supply chains closer together. At Scottish Development International, we are always keen to support more innovative Scottish supply chain companies to find reliable, like-minded partners in China and win business from Chinese projects. At the same time, we also encourage more Chinese developers and manufacturers to invest in Scottish projects.

To follow up, if you are a Scottish company looking at opportunities in China, or a Chinese company looking to source solutions from Scotland, please contact Helen Chen (helen.chen@scotent.co.uk) and Ian Ross (ian.ross@scotent.co.uk).

If you are a Chinese company interested in projects in Scotland, please contact Lily Zhao (lily.zhao@scotent.co.uk).

The above article was originally posted by Kevin Liu, Head of China | Head of Energy Asia Pacific at Scottish Development International, on LinkedIn