By the Blouin News Science & Health staff

China leads world in wind power

by in Environment.

Wind power plant. (Source: Mathias Appel/flickr)

Wind power plant. (Source: Mathias Appel/flickr)

Research firm GlobalData’s latest report states that China has the highest wind power in the world. It accounted for a third of global cumulative wind power capacity in 2015, and the country’s wind power installed capacity will “more than treble from approximately 149 Gigawatts (GW) in 2015 to over 495 GW by 2030.”

The U.S. boasts 17% of the global share of wind power, sitting in second place behind China.

These figures are important in the wake of the signing of the Paris Agreement on April 22 because China has a ton of work to do with regards to cutting carbon emissions. The U.S. and China are two of the major leaders for the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to further the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. China’s massive wind power prowess will naturally play a role in the efforts over the next couple of decades to meet the environmental goals of the Paris Agreement.

Aswani Srivatsava, GlobalData’s Analyst covering power commented:

China’s quick adoption of wind power can be attributed to a wider global trend driven by depleting fossil fuel reserves, the declining cost of wind power generation and a growing sensitivity towards environmental issues.

China’s 13th Five Year Plan raised the 2020 wind target to 250 GW, and aims to shift focus from scale expansion towards quality and efficiency. In order to tackle rising pollution levels and reduce its dependence on imported oil, the country is promoting renewable energy sources such as wind. The government has a number of financial incentives such as feed-in tariffs in place to continue the development of wind power.

Some challenges to China’s wind developments include its underdeveloped electrical grid. A spike in the number of wind turbines means that electrical infrastructure has to upgrade. If not, the existing grid will work harder, and wind power growth will stymie. But Beijing has said it will hold off on some wind projects until the grid situation can improve in certain regions.