China, which overtook the United States as the country investing the most in clean energy last year, announced that it was ramping up its wind power development over the next 24 months following a new goal set by the government.
Current policy in the world’s most populous nation has changed to reflect growing optimism in the energy market, with China setting itself a target of 150 GW of wind power by 2020.
Deputy director general of China’s National Energy Administration Liu Qi announced that wind power is the third-largest source of energy in China (after thermal and hydropower) and would be the government’s focus leading up to 2020, as “it is the non-hydro renewable energy with the biggest possibility of large-scale development and market utilisation at the moment.”
With the 2020 goal in mind, experts have tipped the country to reach 100 GW by 2015 – no small feat. 100GW in wind power is the same total as the entirety of Europe in 2012, and is comparable to the output of 100 nuclear power stations.
However, there is much work to be done in China before this goal can be achieved; safety issues have arisen as the number one concern, with China’s national grid certifiably too low a capacity to handle that level of power generated by clean energy.
A confusing time in the energy market in China, the goal-focused development in wind power will hope to bring stability to an often contradictory market. As well as being the world’s single biggest investor in zero-carbon energy production, The Economist reports that as of 2011, China is also one of the largest coal-dependant markets in the world, with fossil fuels accounting for 70-80% of the Chinese energy sector.