Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology eyes market in Australia

Mainland wind-turbine maker seeks projects amid government push on renewable energy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2012, 4:49am

Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology, China's largest wind-turbine maker, is studying new projects to take advantage of Australia's 2020 renewable energy target.

Australia is set to install as much as 8,000 megawatts of wind power by the end of the decade, and Goldwind was "looking to be a serious participant", said John Titchen, the managing director of its Australian unit. "We see a range of project opportunities."

Goldwind is among wind-power firms seeking to expand in Australia, which intends to generate at least 20 per cent of its power from renewable energy by 2020. Australia requires electricity retailers to buy renewable energy certificates from producers of wind and solar power, providing an incentive to developers of the projects.

Goldwind, which entered Australia in 2009, started construction last month on a 165.5 MW wind farm in New South Wales state, the second project in the country to use the company's turbines. The farm is scheduled to start operating in 2014.

Wind developers would increasingly focus on Victoria and New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, Titchen said.

Goldwind said in June it sold a wind farm in Victoria to China Guangdong Nuclear Wind Energy.

Goldwind has the smallest share of the Australian wind-turbine market among nine firms.

While a glut of renewable energy certificates has driven their price down and discouraged investment in new wind farms, Goldwind expected demand to increase, Titchen said.

The Climate Change Authority will today release its final report reviewing Australia's renewable energy policy. In a preliminary review in October, the government adviser said the goal of generating 41,000 GW hours of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 should be retained in its current form to boost investor confidence.

"There were some difficult times in the market in recent years, but we're now coming out of that oversupply," Titchen said. "The report on the government's policy also shows the CCA's view that the market is working and that the rules should be left alone so we can get on with the job."

Goldwind is facing competition from local and overseas companies. It said in October it expected a 50 per cent decline in earnings this year as heightened competition drives prices lower.