Conversation with Kim Sandgaard-Mørk

Executive Vice President for Renewables Certification  |  DNV

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DNV recently achieved CNAS accreditation for certification of wind turbines and components for use in China. What does that mean for DNV?

This is an important milestone for DNV in China because we are now able to serve the local market to achieve certification according to local requirements for domestic markets. It also establishes the fact that our local organization is a strong team that can meet the needs of the growing wind industry in China. The outlook for renewable energy in China is huge since there is a bold target of carbon neutrality and, therefore, a complete energy transition.

The distance from customer to DNV and market has become lower due to this CNAS accreditation.

What makes the Chinese wind market important to DNV?

The Chinese wind market is not only a big market by quantity, but a lot of Chinese stakeholders are also becoming very strong in developing new technology and build on experience. Therefore, the reach for Chinese OEMs and developers may become more international and important due to the bigger impact they have on the industry.

DNV wants to play an important role in the energy transition in one of the biggest economies in the world trying to reduce the impact of CO2 emissions. DNV believes that, with our knowledge and experience, we can increase cost efficiency and technology without compromising on the environmental impact and the quality of products.

What predictions has DNV’s Energy Transition Outlook made about wind in China?

The Energy Transition Outlook released in 2020 puts Greater China as the undisputed leader in energy transition, topping investments in renewable power and fuels. At least 35 percent of power generation is to come from renewables by 2030, and China has begun its shift to a subsidy-free era relying on renewables obligations and tendering systems.

More than half of final energy demand is supplied by electricity in 2050. This is the highest of all regions and driven by electrification of all demand sectors — transport, manufacturing, and building, with 9 percent coming from offshore wind and 28 percent from onshore wind.

The Chinese wind market is not only a big market by quantity, but a lot of Chinese stakeholders are also becoming very strong in developing new technology and build on experience. (Courtesy: DNV)

Why is it important to be accredited by CNAS (China National Accreditation Service)?

The accreditation assures that DNV delivers certification according to a specific and agreed scope, and all procedures are under constant monitoring of the accreditation body. This gives confidence to external customers or stakeholders in DNV the ability to comply with local regulations and laws. The accreditation is also a trademark that enables customers to know what is included when we provide the certification service, and the local authorities can accept our certificates for the domestic market. So, the CNAS accreditation is a way to localize certification.

Why must Chinese wind projects need access to risk mitigation measures?

As DNV sees it, there is rising competition in the wind market in China due to less subsidy from the government. This means that cost is even more under pressure and having a third party assuring quality in projects is one beneficial way to even competition and make sure the quality is high despite any cost pressure. Also, we believe that we are able to easier help manufacturers to the market with a qualitative product.

When the market is booming, developers with limited experience may enter the market due to the obvious opportunities, and when a third party is mandatory again, this helps customers to enter the market on a safer level.

Why is it important that DNV’s customers ensure their products meet local Chinese requirements?

One reason, naturally, is that requirements are given to meet safety standards and, thereby, have a more reliable source of electricity.

The people of China are relying on the government to provide a stable and continuous power supply in a growing economy, so meeting the local requirements is key to a success for the economic growth of China.

What types of certification services are available from DNV for wind energy?

There are several different services available from DNV for wind energy, but the main services seen as needed by customers in China are type and component certification, shop approval, site specific design assessment, type approval of materials, and project certification.

DNV is supplying these services locally to customers, but, so far, project certification is not a requirement. DNV sees this as a potential to secure the assets for the wind industry, and in many markets, this is provided because developers and financiers and insurance companies see this as a means to secure a reliable power supply.

Will the CNAS accreditation allow DNV to offer tailored conformity assessment services? How so?

The accreditation provides a set scope, and, therefore, the statement of compliance should always be the same. If, however, customers have a wish to discuss how to reach the conformity statements, DNV is willing to have this discussion as long as it is understood by all parties that there are certain given criteria that need to be met for DNV to issue a statement or certificate. DNV cannot and will not compromise on quality and integrity.

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