In a first, a German offshore wind farm will use Chinese turbines

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A German offshore wind farm in the North Sea will use Chinese-made turbines for the first time (and they’re mighty).

Hamburg-based clean energy asset manager Luxcara signed a preferred turbine supplier agreement with China’s Mingyang Smart Energy for the offshore wind farm Waterkant.

The reservation agreement is for 16 of the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbines with up to 18.5 megawatts (MW) of capacity each for installation in 2028.

The gigantic turbines have a rotor diameter of 260 meters (853 feet). Once it comes online, Waterkant will generate clean electricity for around 400,000 households.

Luxcara launched an international tender in late 2023, and it stated in its selection announcement that the decision for Mingyang’s turbines was based on “an extensive due diligence exercise, covering the supply chain, ESG compliance aligned with the EU taxonomy, and cybersecurity supported by independent experts from renowned international advisers.”

But a spokesperson for Germany’s economy ministry told Reuters that it’s going to look closer at the security and competition aspects of this German offshore wind farm using Chinese turbines:

The federal government will look at this decision very closely. On the one hand, in relation to the question of critical infrastructure. On the other hand, the level playing field must be maintained in relation to competition.

The European wind power industry’s lobbying group WindEurope called for fair competition in the face of cheaper Chinese turbines, saying, “Germany and the European Union must consider whether they see wind energy as a strategic sector before it is too late.”

Similar to Europe’s EV industry, there’s concern about unfair trade practices in the solar and wind sectors because Chinese-made wind turbines and solar panels cost less than European-made products.

Germany has set a goal to reach 80% clean electricity by 2030.

Read more: In a world first, China installs an 18 MW offshore wind turbine


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