Wind energy capacity to grow five-fold by 2020

China is poised to ratchet up wind power generation as it plans to increase its currency wind turbines by more than five-fold over the next decade from 2009, as the country steps up clean energy capacity.

Total installed wind farm capacity will reach at least 150 gigawatts by 2020 compared with 25.8 gigawatts last year, said the China Wind Power Outlook 2010 report.

A more ambitious forecast by the publishers of the report — Greenpeace, the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association and the Global Wind Energy Council — is 230 gigawatts by 2020.

That would be equal to 13 times the capacity of the Three Gorges Dam and reduce 410 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, said Yang Ailun of Greenpeace China.

"China is at a crossroads," said Yang. "It can choose between the dirty, dangerous world of coal and fossil fuels, or the new, clean future promised by wind energy. The answer is obvious."

In addition to installing wind turbines, China’s government is also vigorously developing nuclear energies, hydropower generation and expanding solar cells usage to cut carbon emissions and protect the environment.

China now depends on coal for nearly 70 percent of its energy consumption. Experts see the growth of the wind power industry in China as a bright spot in the country’s efforts to curb growth in its world-leading greenhouse gas emissions.