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Wind energy could power all of China, study finds.

Wind energy could supply all of China's 2030 electricity demand if the country overhauls its grids and raises the subsidy for wind energy, according to researchers from Harvard and Tsinghua Universities. Their analysis, published in the journal Science in September, said that achieving this goal would require increasing wind contract prices from the current US$0.059 per kilo-watthour to $0.076 per kilowatthour.

Coal still supplies most of China's electricity. Rather than increase carbon dioxide emissions by 3.5 gigatons each year through 2030, as current policies would allow, the study determined that wind energy could replace 640 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power. The switch would cut emissions by 30 percent and require an investment of some $900 billion.


Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Gansu, and Tibet provinces hold large potential for wind energy, But high-voltage transmission lines are needed to connect these sparsely populated regions in the north and west with consumers in China's more-developed east. Meanwhile, a lack of grid capacity has limited wind energy's ability to reach customers, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

China currently ranks fourth worldwide in installed wind generation capacity. In 2007, the country surpassed its wind energy target of 5 GW for 2010. In 2008, wind energy supplied 12.2 GW, or 0.4 percent of domestic electricity. Officials announced in May that more than 100 GW of wind energy capacity will be installed nationwide by 2020.

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Title Annotation:EYE ON EARTH
Author:Block, Ben
Publication:World Watch
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Nov 1, 2009
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