Wind power as a win-win strategy

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-11-03 10:29

To a country like China, which is thirsty for energy and power and determined to take the road of sustainable development, promoting the development of wind power could be a win-win strategy for all.

On Thursday, a report jointly released by the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, Greenpeace and Global Wind Energy Council, brought closer the realization of wind power development.

The report predicts that with greater policy support the country could become one of the world's top three wind energy markets in about a decade. China's installed wind power capacity could reach 122 Gigawatts by 2020, equivalent to the capacity of five Three Gorges Dams.

In fact, the Chinese government had earlier raised its 2010 target to 8,000 Megawatts (MW) from 5,000 MW with the idea of accelerating the development of the renewable energy industry.

Given the country's heavy reliance on coal, the cheapest and dirtiest source of energy, the development of renewable and clean energy is the only rational choice if it intends to diversify its energy supply and contribute to international efforts to check global warming.

Although its per capita greenhouse gas emissions are lower than the world's average as well as developed countries like the United States and Australia, China has been active in pushing for global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and is willing to shoulder its due responsibility.

It has already committed that non-fossil fuels will account for 30 percent of China's energy consumption by 2050, compared with 10 percent today.

To this end, the development of wind power should be given a bigger role, since it is one of the few types of ideal energy - renewable, clean and competitive with rapid implementation.

While wind power accounts for 5.7 percent of global power generation now, it amounts to less than 1 percent in China.

The government should therefore make it an obligation for places abundant in wind power to give top priority to its development.

Sufficient funding and favorable policies, including tax rebates, are necessary to encourage business expansion in this field.

Since China is relatively weak in wind power technology, it should not only promote technological innovation at home, but also look for international co-operation and borrow experience.

(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)

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