China’s wind farms have reached an installed capacity of 115GW, producing enough energy to power more than 110 million homes and overtaking the 90GW generating power of the US’ 99 nuclear reactors.Â
Altogether, 96GW of wind farm energy flows into China’s national grid. China aims to increase that figure to 200GW by 2020. This level of growth would raise its capacity above that of the EU, which at present has an annual capacity of 130GW.Â
China is also due to build six to eight nuclear reactors a year, to reach its goal of producing 58GW of nuclear power by 2020.
Wind power by country (source: Global Wind Energy Council)
The China Nuclear Society say the People’s Republic has 22 nuclear reactors in operation and 26 under construction. Atomic energy currently accounts for only 2% of China’s total power supply.Â Â Â
One driving factor behind the increase in alternative energy production is the need to combat rising pollution levels. A documentary by journalist Chai Jing on the effects of smog in Beijing has now been viewed 100 million times.Â
Photograph: The Huitengxile wind farm, Inner Mongolia, China (Wikimedia Commons)