China could be top wind market in three years
( Reuters ) - China could become the world's top wind power market in three to five years but will grow faster if it reforms its subsidy system, executives of major wind turbine maker Vestas said on Friday.
Chief Executive Ditlev Engel, in China to open the second and third in a series of seven plants due to come on line by the first quarter of 2008, said he was convinced Vestas could compete with cheaper local rivals on quality.
But the company, the world's biggest wind turbine manufacturer, made its $80 million investment with an eye on both Chinese and export markets. Turbines not sold in China could be integrated into Vestas' global supply chain, he added.
" China will keep growing now, as a very important part of the wind power business, not just on the sales side but also on the sourcing," Engel said in a group interview.
Asked when Beijing would become the top market, he said: "Within three to five years, we estimate."
He declined to estimate the speed of demand growth, but pointed out that China, with its 1.3 billion population, had less installed wind power than Denmark, with fewer than 6 million people.
But Engel also stressed that the European Union's push to get 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, and growing support in the United States for greener power, meant China was not guaranteed the top place.