A Mighty Wind: What Will China’s Green Appetite Mean?

The Wall Street Journal reports on China’s growing interest in wind energy:

China’s NRDC, the top economic planning agency, said renewable energy will provide 10% of the country’s energy use by 2010. As part of the program, officials upped their target for wind power to ten gigawatts by the end of their next five-year plan, reports Xinhua news service. If wind blew all the time, that would be about the same as ten nuclear power plants, something China is also building ferociously.

But, according to the Wall Street Journal, China still doesn’t have the capacity to produce enough wind turbines to meet demand.

Will China’s fast-growing domestic wind turbine business come to the rescue? Not likely. While a handful of players are building top-notch turbines, domestic capacity still falls far short of China’s needs. According to a report compiled by the Global Wind Energy Council, China’s domestic wind turbine production capacity in 2006 was 540 megawatts (about 300 good-sized machines). That’s less than half of what the country needs every year.

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