An offshore wind delegation from the Netherlands is currently visiting China to intensify Sino-Dutch offshore wind cooperation and knowledge exchange.
Besides Dutch companies, three experts from the Netherlands are accompanying the delegation and holding masterclasses throughout China. René Moor and Ruud de Bruijne of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) are invited by the National Energy Administration of China to give a masterclass on the Dutch offshore wind policy and tender system, while Arjen Schutten of the Holland Home of Wind Energy (HHWE) export organisation will talk about the Dutch offshore wind supply system and market.
The dependency on fossil fuels cannot last, therefore demand for renewable energy continues to rise worldwide, according to Arjen Schutten, who added that over the next twenty years 36% more energy will be consumed than it is now. Wind energy – particularly offshore wind farms – is fast gaining ground in the Netherlands and worldwide, Schutten pointed out.
However, the Chinese market is challenging for Dutch and foreign companies.
“Offshore wind energy is a high risk, high reward sector. There are many risks involved and we learned a lot from our mistakes in the past. However, most Chinese companies prefer to be certain of the success of projects. But the only way to really develop and further improve is to start and learn from the mistakes and problems that we have encountered. The Chinese still need to adapt to this way of thinking. Accepting support is also an important part of this different mindset,” Schutten explains.
Schutten said he hopes that China and the Netherlands can utilise the full potential of offshore wind energy together. “The Netherlands has unique knowledge and expertise that China can use, for example, when it comes to the installation and operation & maintenance of offshore wind farms.”
China plans to raise its non-fossil fuel portion of primary energy consumption to 15% by 2020. At the same time, the Netherlands aims to cut CO2 emissions by half to generate some 40% of its electricity from sustainable sources like offshore wind and biomass by 2050.
With this future, Schutten emphasized that there are opportunities for this sector in both countries. “There is a large market for offshore wind energy in the Netherlands with yearly at least 700MW of capacity being built in the next years to come. Our aim for this mission is also to point this out to Chinese participants of the masterclasses and get them interested in the Dutch market. We want to diversify our market by also having companies active in for instance wind turbine manufacturing or cable manufacturing. So if Chinese companies can supply or produce high quality wind turbines or cables for competitive prices, there is a large market waiting for them.”
The Dutch delegation is visiting Beijing, Fuzhou and Guangzhou from 16 to 19 October, as a follow-up to Dutch Minister Henk Kamp’s visit from June and on the occasion of the China Wind Power (CWP) fair.