China likely to lead world in wind energy by year-end

"Wind power technology provides governments with a viable option for truly tackling the challenges of our time and for being part of the energy revolution our planet needs," GWEC Secretary-General Steve Sawyer told a news conference. He added that political commitment is needed to make this happen.

An earlier GWEC report showed global wind power capacity grew 31 percent, a 37.5-gigawatt (gW) increase to 157.9 GW in 2009. A third of the increase came from China, which doubled its capacity from 12.1 GW to 25.1 GW. The US contributed nearly 10 GW of new capacity in 2009, reaching 35 GW.

The GWEC also forecast an increase of up to 10 times China’s currently installed wind farm capacity by 2020, up from 25.1 GW at the end of 2009.

China is the world’s largest wind turbines market and home to the world’s largest wind turbines manufacturing industry, according to GWEC and Greenpeace International, which released a global wind energy outlook report on Tuesday.

Wind energy could meet 12 percent of global power demand by 2020 and up to 22 percent by 2030, according to the two organizations’ research. The reports were based on existing projections, policy measures and governments’ renewable energy commitments.

The rapid growth in wind power will not only satisfy the world’s increasing power demands but also achieve major greenhouse gas emissions reductions, as the power sector is the largest emission source.

It is forecast that the installation of wind power capacity will reach 1,000 GW by 2020, saving as much as 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year. By 2030, a total of 34 billion tons of CO2 will be saved by 2,300 GW of wind power capacity.

In addition to environmental benefits, wind energy is becoming a substantial factor in economic development, providing more than 600,000 jobs in direct and indirect employment.

"In 2010, the 600,000 workers of the wind industry put up a new wind turbine every 30 minutes," said Sven Teske, a senior energy expert at Greenpeace International.

"One in three of those turbines was erected in China. By 2030, the market could be three times bigger than today. A new wind turbine every seven minutes – that’s our goal."

Source: China Daily,