2.3 Current Status of Wind Power Service Industry

2.3.1 Wind Energy Resources Evaluation and The Wind Forecast

To better meet the requirements for continuous, orderly and logical planning, development and utilization of China's wind energy resources, from 2008, the China Meteorological Administration, with the support of the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance and other relevant departments, has taken the lead in organizing and implementing the "National Wind Energy Detailed Survey and Evaluation" program. During implementation of this program, China Meteorological Administration has, according to the wind energy resources planning and wind farm site selection requirements and using normative, uniform standards, set up 400 70~120m high anemometer towers in regions of mainland China where wind energy resources were available, having preliminarily established a nationwide on-land wind energy resources professional observation network. This professional observation network can provide fundamental support for conducting wind energy forecast services and wind farm post-evaluation due to its continuous operation.

China Meteorological Administration's Center for Wind and Solar Energy Resources Assessment improved and optimized the wind energy numerical simulation evaluation models introduced from Canada, Denmark and the USA by absorbing their successful experiences in accordance with China's geographical and climatic characteristics. Utilizing advanced geographical information system (GIS) analysis technology, it had developed a wind energy resources assessment system (WERAS/CMA) suitable for China's climatic and geographical characteristics, offering a horizontal resolution of numerical simulation up to 1km, whose wind energy parameter simulation accuracy can meet all levels of wind power planning and wind farm site selection requirements.

Moreover, while executing this program, the China Meteorological Administration developed a normative and suitable wind energy resources calculation and evaluation system, established a wind energy resource database sharing system, and compiled and improved a series of normative technical documents for the detailed survey and evaluation of wind energy resources. These achievements will all play an active role in conducting future detailed surveys of regional wind energy resources and wind power prediction.

The China Meteorological Administration established the China Meteorological Administration Wind Energy Forecast Business System by adjusting and improving the model's parameterization scheme and operation strategy based on the numerical weather forecast model BJ-RUC and according to wind farm power forecast requirements. Wind farms forecast accuracy was dramatically enhanced by advancing and improving the assimilation technique for high-density land observation data, radar data, satellite data and specialist anemometer tower data.

2.3.2 Construction of a Standard System for Wind Power

China's wind power standards include national standards and industry standards, which are centrally managed by the Standardization Administration of the People's Republic of China. National standards are developed by China's individual specialty standardization technical committees, where technical requirements are unified nationwide. For those technical standards that have no national counterparts but that must be unified within a certain industry in China, the State Council's relevant competent administrative departments or State Council authorized relevant industry associations can develop industry standards as required.

As China's wind power industry continues to develop, individual relevant specialty standardization technical committees nationwide have, through many years of hard work, established a preliminary wind power standards system covering multiple areas such as wind turbine generator system complete machines, parts and components, materials, design, and testing. Regarding standards related to large-scale grid-connected wind turbine generator systems, for example, by 2011, China had already issued and executed 40 national standards, including 10 converted from IEC standards and 1 from AWEA standards. The contents of these national standards cover wind turbine generator system safety requirements, product performance, testing methods, wind energy resources evaluation, and wind farm requirements. There are also another 26 national standards under development and other standards currently under revision.

In addition to national standards, individual relevant industries have also issued many industry standards for the wind power industry, such as the electric power industry standard "DL/T 5191-2004 Code of Construction Acceptance on Wind Power Plant Projects", and the machinery industry standard "JB/T 10427-2004 General Hydraulic Systems of Wind Turbine Generator Systems". These industry standards play an important role in guiding wind turbine generator system design, manufacture, installation, as well as wind farm construction.

At a conference in March, 2010 in Beijing, the National Energy Bureau announced the establishment of the Energy Industry Wind Power Standards Construction Leading Group, the Energy Industry Wind Power Standards Construction Experts Consulting Group, and the Energy Industry Wind Power Standardization Technical Committee (referred to as the Standardization Committee hereinafter). The Standardization Committee then set up standard development work groups according to division of duties and issued the "Wind Power Standards System Framework (discussion draft)" in the form of the Guo Neng Ke Ji # [2010] 16 document, which has drawn up seven major categories

a photograph of a wind farm

of 173 standards and provides an outline for China to establish and improve its current wind power standards system. As a staged work announcement on the construction of the wind power standards system, on May 8, 2011, the National Energy Bureau approved and issued 17 important standards, including the "Technical Specifications for Grid-Connecting Design of Large-Scale Wind Farms", at the 2nd session of Energy Industry Wind Power Standardization Technical Committee's 1st conference and energy industry wind power standardization working conference held in Beijing, which covers the technical standards urgently needed today for the development of the wind power industry, including large-scale wind farm grid-connection, offshore wind power construction, wind turbine generator system status monitoring, quality of electric energy of wind farms, and wind power key equipment manufacturing requirements, filling in the technology gap.

2.3.3 Testing and Certification of Wind Turbine

As recognized by the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment, the third-party inspection agencies now providing wind turbine generator system inspection and testing in China include China Electric Power Research Institute's Wind Power Grid-Connection Research and Assessment Center, CGC Wind Test Center, and Northeast Electric Power Research Institute's Laboratory on Electrical Characteristics of Wind Turbine Generator Systems. In general, China already possesses the capability to conduct wind turbine generator system power characteristics testing, quality of electric energy testing, noise testing and load testing capabilities.

To satisfy the needs of wind power equipment field inspection & testing and conducting wind power equipment type certification, China has now built two wind power public testing platforms that are already operational. One is the Zhangbei Wind Power Testing Base of the National Energy Large-Scale Wind Power Grid-Connecting System R&D (Experimental) Center, and the other is Baoding Wind Power Blade & Bearing Inspection Center of the National Energy Key Laboratory of Wind Energy & Solar Energy Emulation and Inspection Certification Technology.

The Zhangbei Wind Power Testing Base is an important part of the National Energy Large-Scale Wind Power Grid-Connecting System R&D(Experimental) Center constructed by the State Grid Corporation of China. With the financial support of the National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance, this base was completed in the Manjing area of Zhangbei County, Hebei Province, in 2010. Covering a land lot of some 24 square kilometers and with a total of 30 machine positions, this testing base features a flat terrain, convenient accessibility, good power grid access conditions, and abundant wind energy resources. The Zhangbei Wind Power Testing Base can conduct comprehensive research and testing activities such as wind turbine generator system low-voltage penetrating ability testing, power grid adaptability testing, and wind-PV-storage integrated operation testing.

Located in Baoding City, Hebei Province, the state-level Wind Power Blade & Bearing Inspection Center is a part of the National Energy Key Laboratory of Wind Energy & Solar Energy Emulation and Inspection Certification Technology. Covering a land lot of 35,960 square meters and mainly comprised of a Blade Raw Materials Lab, blade testing workshop, bearing inspection bench and pitch system inspection bench, this Inspection Center can accomplish structural tests, nondestructive tests and wind farm blade tracking tests on blade raw materials,blade parts and components, and full-size blades up to approximately 100m long as well as related tests on multi-MW-scale wind power bearings and pitch systems. Its testing conditions meet international advanced levels. The Phase-I project with blade and raw material testing capabilities at the Inspection Center is already operational. The Phase-II project involves the bearing and pitch system testing benches, and is expected to become operational in 2013.

There are two agencies in China that have been approved by the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China to conduct wind power equipment certification activities. One is the China General Certification Center, a third party certification agency in China specialized in standards research and quality certification of renewable energy products such as wind energy and solar energy, and the other is the China Classification Society Quality Assurance Ltd., which has enriched certification experiences in both this and many other fields. Chinese certification agencies can conduct wind turbine generator system design certification, type certification, wind farm project certification, and wind turbine generator system components certification.

2.3.4 Insurance Service in The Wind Industry

In Europe and North America, where wind power development is mature, the insurance industry and wind power industry are already interconnected. In Europe, North America and Australia, risk management at wind power enterprises is becoming increasingly refined and professional. In addition to all-risk property insurance and machine damage insurance, more and more wind power enterprises are buying all kinds of profit loss policies, such as wind speed insurance, and non-planned operation downtime insurance. Based on actual demands, the insurance industry has also developed some innovative insurance products and services, such as weather/wind resources derivative insurance products, wind power CDM project insurance products, and all-line insurance products covering the entire process of wind power projects. Foreign wind power enterprises are active in buying their insurance policies, while the insurer and the insured also conduct effective communication and work closely together to accomplish risk prevention, aver sion and management to achieve a win-win result.

The number of insurance companies providing wind power insurance services in China is not small, including Chinese insurance companies such as PICC Property and Casualty Company Limited, China Ping An Insurance Company, Alltrust Insurance Co., Ltd., and Yingda Taihe Property Insurance Co., Ltd., as well as foreign insurance companies such as Sun Alliance Insurance (China) Limited. However, the alliance between China's wind power industry and insurance industry is still in its early development stage. The scale of the wind power insurance market is still very small, and wind power insurance products are still dominated by traditional insurance products such as corporate property insurance, cargo insurance, contractors insurance, and machine damage insurance.

China's wind power insurance market is advancing slowly. On the one hand, wind enterprises are still not familiar with the insurance business and are relatively conservative in using insurance service. For example, lack of correct understanding of the role and value of insurance, and the types of insurance product that wind power enterprises buy. On the other hand, insurance companies still have a lack of trust in, and knowledge of, China's wind power equipment manufacturing industry, as it is still in its evolution stage. The number of wind power enterprises is large, and the level of their quality control varies, making insurance companies unwilling to enter this field. All these have affected development of the wind power insurance market. Furthermore, the development of third party service agencies in the Chinese wind power insurance market is not mature enough. There is a lack of interdisciplinary expertise, i.e., individuals who have both insurance and wind power knowledge. It is very hard to find authoritative third party agencies that have wind power incident inspection and loss assessment capabilities. It is hard to engage a state-level authoritative professional agency to participate in loss assessment and issue an inspection report in case of equipment claims, and the applicant and the insured can hardly reach an agreement on the loss assessment issue.

In a word, the rapidly developing wind power industry needs the insurance industry to participate more to mitigate the risks, while the large-scale development of China's wind power market will also create a huge emerging market for the insurance industry. The alliance between wind power and insurance is a mutual requirement at a certain stage in the development of these two industries. Today, however, such potential demand has not been fully realized. Therefore, both insurance companies and wind power enterprises in China must continue to deepen their mutual understanding, jointly providing risk prevention, and achieving a win-win outcome through cooperation. Industry associations and wind power inspection and certification agencies must also provide more information services and technical services for their mutual cooperation, thereby promoting steady development of China's wind power insurance market.