2020 is the last year of the 13th Five-Year Plan and a very special year in the history of wind energy. When the tide of “rush to install” met Covid-19, when the “era of fair pricing” is finally arriving, on October 30th, the 2020 NGC (Wind Energy) Customer Day: “Greenness Drives the Future” was held in Nanjing. As the organizer, NGC got together with more than 100 wind turbine manufacturers, wind energy developers and industrial experts to discuss wind energy developments in the industry.
Hu Jichun, president of NGC Group, delivered a speech at the meeting. He said that this year is an important milestone in the development of global wind energy, and that the Chinese market will soon enter a “post-subsidy era” as part of the “14th Five-Year Plan”. With the rise of wind energy industry, NGC plans on seizing development opportunities and its production output constantly hits new highs. So far, the number of installed main gear boxes has exceeded the annual output of 2019, and a total of 80,000 sets have been installed worldwide. Overseas business has also been steadily rising and advancing. He pointed out that the wind energy industry will continue to develop in terms of high quality products, innovation and a larger scale. NGC will work with all major players in the industry to strengthen confidence and create a brighter future.
The imminent conclusion of “rush to install” in 2020
In the face of “rush to install” and the impact of Covid-19 in 2020, enterprises in the wind energy industry chain are extremely busy after resumption of full production. Key wind turbine manufacturers that have cooperated with NGC for many years have recognized the significant efforts the company has made.
Chu Jingchun, chairman of the board of Guodian United Power Technology Co., Ltd., pointed out that the development of United Power over the last 13 years was not only a process of pursuing progress, but also a process of working hand in hand with supply chain partners such as NGC. NGC has delivered 12,000 high quality gearboxes to United Power. In particular, in response to the “rush to install” initiative within the industry this year, NGC’s support has further strengthened mutual trust between the two sides.
Lu Wei, head of the intelligent wind turbine product line at Envision Energy Co., Ltd., said that the tide of “rush to install” before the removal of subsidies in 2020 had been disrupted and challenged by the sudden outbreak of Covid-19. NGC and Envision have stood together to meet numerous challenges throughout their 12 years of cooperation. In October this year, as a pair of important strategic partners, the two sides witnessed the delivery of 6,000 gearboxes since the establishment of their cooperation.
Chen Qi, deputy general manager of Zhejiang Windey Co., Ltd., believes that under the dual influence of this year’s global Covid-19 pandemic and the tide of “rush to install”, NGC has helped customers solve a number of tough issues thanks to their rapid response and delivery performance, playing a vital role in safeguarding the stability and development of the wind energy market’s supply chain. In the 18 years of cooperation between Windey and NGC, the company has used nearly 6,000 sets of NGC gearboxes, providing strong support for the efficient and reliable operation of Windey’s generator units and ensuring the company’s products have a good reputation in the market. They have become a close community for a shared future.
Gu Xiaobin, an executive director of NGC Group and president of its Wind Energy Business Unit, expressed gratitude to the wind turbine manufacturers. He said that faced with the tide of “rush to install”, the pandemic and production capacity issues, NGC experienced a number of challenges throughout the year. In the remaining two months, NGC will go all out, and never give up. Every production department is working overtime, as output constantly hits new highs, with an aim to ensuring a perfect conclusion to the year of “rush to install”.
Rapid breakthroughs and developments in the era of fair pricing
Gu Xiaobin described how NGC shipments have grown from about 13 GW in 2017 to an expected scale of 26 GW this year, as its production output keeps on growing. The average MW of the products has risen from 2.0 MW to 2.7 MW, moving to even greater capacities. The newly installed gearboxes overseas have increased compared with last year, as the company maintains a good cooperation with its three major clients, and the overseas market share continues to grow steadily.
How to achieve a rapid breakthrough and development in the era of fair pricing? Gu Xiaobin believes that NGC will start from four aspects: perfecting quality assurance, improving technology and management, optimizing production layout and expanding production capacity. In particular, he stressed that “Product quality is an important factor for NGC to win the market and win customers, but also the primary element for NGC to develop in the future.”
He pointed out that in the era of fair pricing, owners, wind energy manufacturers, as well as parts and components suppliers still have room for improvement. For gearboxes, a core component, it is necessary to pursue technological progress and achieve lightweight, high transmission ratios and higher torque density. NGC will continue to strengthen its technical communications with customers, promote platform-based and standardized products, strengthen its own cost control, and make efforts to promote the industry and cut costs. “The design and manufacture of the next generation of concept gearboxes will be completed next year.”
Gu Xiaobin also said that in the next 2-5 years, NGC will pay close attention to the development and market situation of domestic and international wind energy, and that the company is currently planning to invest 4 billion yuan and build a new 180,000 ㎡ plant. By the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan, the program will enable annual planned production capacity to exceed 50 GW.
In addition, Ji Qin, the market analysis manager of the Wind Energy Business Unit of NGC Group, gave a keynote speech entitled “The Development Prospects of the Global Wind Energy Industry in the New Era”. Sun Yizhong, product development technology director, Cao Rongqing, deputy process director, and Liu Zhen, deputy general manager of quality development with the Wind Energy Business Unit of NGC Group, also shared their views on how to achieve a rapid breakthrough of high power models under fair pricing from the three aspects of R&D, manufacturing and quality.
A foreseeable future for wind energy in the “14th Five-Year Plan”
On September 22nd, President Xi Jinping pointed out in an important speech at the general debate of the 75th United Nations General Assembly, that China will increase its independent contribution and adopt stronger policies and measures with an aim to reach a peak in terms of CO2 emissions by 2030 and strive for carbon neutralization by 2060. At the China WindPower 2020 held in Beijing on October 14th, the wind energy industry issued its “Beijing Declaration on Wind Energy”, a positive response to the implementation of the target of “30·60” and how the country would take the lead in green development, which has become a collective “voice” within the wind energy industry.
Xie Changjun, vice president of the China Electric Power Promotion Council, recognized NGC’s contribution to the wind energy industry. He believed that NGC is a forerunner of wind energy development and a strong advocate for the localization of high quality wind energy.
On the development of the wind energy industry in the future, he said, “The commitment made by President Xi at the United Nations General Assembly is a booster and an order, which will usher in another golden time of renewable energy in China”. He believes that China’s wind energy industry has entered the right time, as the entire country, from the central government to local government, shows great enthusiasm for wind energy development, and the country’s wind energy industrial chain has matured.
However, opportunities are accompanied by challenges. The advent of the fair pricing era will bring pressure to cost reductions within the supply chain. He suggested that the era of fair pricing does not mean blind price reduction. Instead, lean management levels should be improved on the basis of guaranteed services and quality, in order to reduce non-technical costs. In terms of research on the construction of wind farms, we must coordinate with and protect the environment while developing clean energy.
On the 14th Five-Year Plan, Xie Changjun shared his expectations. He believes that an annual installed capacity of 50 million kilowatts and a total installed capacity of 200 million kilowatts during the 14th Five-Year Plan can be realized under certain conditions. The target of “Two Ten Cents in 2023” proposed by Envision can also be realized. The development of onshore wind energy should be grown in parallel with the construction of large bases and distributed development in the future. Offshore wind energy and wind energy operations and maintenance will become the primary focus for the development of the industry in the future.