November 3 - The outcome of the Hangzhou meeting of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) has sent mixed messages to heavy lift and project cargo forwarders involved in the movement of wind farm components to China.
Included in nine agreements aimed at liberalising trade between the two countries was the removal of restrictions on local content of wind farms that had kept US manufacturers out of a market that some experts predict could be worth USD 100 billion in little over a decade.
However, market watchers question that this will generate very much long-term traffic into China as the country is now thought to have already overtaken the US as the world's largest turbine manufacturer.
At the end of 2008, China had 12 gigawatts of installed wind power generating capacity, (out of a worldwide capacity of 121.2 gigawatts) covering 202 projects with another 445 sites earmarked for future developments.
Coal, however, remains the main fuel source for power generation in China.
A more likely source of traffic arising from this deal is that from China to the US.
The US Renewable Energy Group and Cielo Wind Power of Texas have entered into a joint venture with China's Shenyang Power Group to construct a 600MW wind farm across approximately 14,500 ha in Texas, the first time Chinese and US entities have agree to jointly develop a utility-scale wind power project.
The project is estimated to have a total cost of approximately USD 1.5 billion. Some 240 2.5MW wind turbines will be manufactured in Shenyang, China. In total, the wind farm is expected to produce enough electricity for 180,000 homes and is also expected to be one of the largest wind farms in the US.