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Is wind power running out of puff?

By Jiang Xueqing and Hu Yongqi  (China Daily)

08:35, January 16, 2013

China's new-energy sector is facing an uncertain future after the US imposed swingeing import tariffs and demand for equipment dwindles, as Jiang Xueqing and Hu Yongqi report from Beijing.

On Dec 18, the US Department of Commerce imposed stiff tariffs on Chinese-made wind towers imported at prices deemed to be unreasonably low. The department determined that Chinese exporters have sold utility-scale wind towers in the US at dumping margins of 44.99 percent to 70.63 percent. In response, the department set deposit rates for cash, used as surety for goods, ranging from 34.33 to 60.02 percent on the towers and additional countervailing duties of 21.86 to 34.81 percent to offset Chinese government subsidies.

"With rates of duty like this, it's impossible for the products of Chinese wind tower manufacturers to enter the US market," said Zheng Kangsheng, secretary of the board of Titan Wind Energy (Suzhou) Co. "The company's US market share will definitely decline sharply," he added.

A 2012 US investigation into anti-dumping and countervailing duties found that Titan Wind Energy gained sales revenue of 363.91 million yuan ($58.4 million) from its US exports of utility-scale wind towers in 2011, accounting for 38.64 percent of its operating revenue that year. The company will now attempt to expand its market share in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and Africa to offset the predicted losses in the US, said Zheng.

The department's decision has added to the tough times being experienced by Chinese wind power equipment manufacturers as a result of overcapacity.

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