Monday, October 17, 2005

China may emerge as world top wind power: Greenpeace

Greenpeace on Monday called for greater investment in wind turbines in China, the world's top coal consumer, saying Beijing's ambitious target for renewable energy means it could emerge the global top wind power by 2020.

"We need to stop financing problems and have to start financing the solution," campaigner Robin Oakley told reporters on board vessel Rainbow Warrior, operated by Greenpeace, as a blanket of smog covered Hong Kong.

"It (China) has enormous wind resources ... The Chinese government is recognizing that," Oakley said, while announcing a study on wind potential in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, known as the world's manufacturing center.

In February, China's parliament passed a renewable energy law, which will take effect next January, which sets tariffs in favor of non-fossil energy such as water, wind and solar power.

With Beijing aiming to build 20 gigawatts of wind power by the year 2020, Graham White, managing director of Garrad Hassan Pacific Pty Ltd. from Australia said China was likely to overtake Germany, Spain, the United States and India as the top wind user.

The official from Garrad Hassan, which conducted the study on behalf of Greenpeace, said the target compared with the world's total installed wind capacity of 55 gigawatts presently.

"Onshore wind will be the cheapest energy source of all the options for Europe in the year 2020 ... Same economics are going to be true for China," White added, referring to a 2003 study, commissioned by the U.K. government.

Junior Bloor has been getting Chinese lessons weekly this year in school. Nothing intensive, mind you, but he already knows more of the language than I'll ever learn. Not bad for a first grader. He doesn't much like it, but I suspect he's going to see the value in sticking with it by the time he hits middle school.


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