China becomes greatest producer of wind energy

Almost 50% of all new wind turbines in 2015 were built in China. Considering that, it’s no surprise that the country has become the biggest producer of wind energy. But China is showing that its determination in greening its economy is real and it’s not slowing down.

Photo by Chris Lim.

Photo by Chris Lim.

According to statistics released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) on Wednesday, China installed 30,500 megawatts of new wind power last year, compared to the world total of 63,000 MW. Right now, China has an estimated 145,100 MW of wind power, out of the global total of 432,400 MW.

This also doesn’t come as a surprise if you’ve followed similar news in China recently. The country quadrupled its solar energy last year and their economy has finally decoupled from coal consumption, but they’re paying the price of decades of massive fossil fuel consumption, fighting with air pollution and smog. According to a report, only 8 Chinese big cities meet requirements for air pollution. The best solution, at least for now, is clear: stop burning so many fossil fuels, focus more on renewable energy.

China officially surpassed the European Union, the traditional leader in the sector. However, judging on percentage capacity, China still has much to work. In 2014, China had the largest installed electricity generation capacity in the world with 1505 GW – some 80% coming from coal (as it did for the past 10 years). Working at full capacity, wind and solar could generate over a quarter of the country’s electricity demands, helping to phase out coal.

They still have a long way to go, but these are definite steps in the right direction.

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