China’s wind energy exponentially dwarfs America’s nuclear power plants. While the eastern country is actively involved in building nuclear reactors, it is committed to generating energy from wind.
America may boast of one of the biggest nuclear power plants in the world, but when it comes to sustainable and renewable power generation, China is ages-ahead. While China is currently building more nuclear reactors than any other planet on Earth, it is dedicated at exploring the potential of wind power to its fullest and expanding its capacity to harvest it at an even speedier rate than nuclear.
As per last year’s figures, the total amount of energy harvested from China’s wind farms went up an impressive 16 percent from the previous year. In terms of power generation, wind farms generated enough energy to reliably power 110 million homes for an entire year.
Compared directly to China’s own nuclear power output, the 115 gigawatts of wind power produced by China in 2014 vastly outweighs the 20,000 megawatts (a gigawatt is 1,000 megawatt) from its nuclear sector. Needless to say, wind power generation is far more than the total output of power from all of the nuclear plants in the U.S.
Interestingly for China, it’s not just about environment. The country has realized that wind power is by far the most practical form of energy for them. China is currently struggling to produce enough water for its nuclear plants. Moreover, after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, China’s not putting any of these potential disasters, on earthquake-prone land.
Hence China’s Earth Policy Institute has confirmed that the country will have enough wind-power machines to produce 200 gigawatts that would be fed directly to the national grid within the next five years. J. Matthew Roney at the Earth Policy Institute spoke about the initiative.
“China is building the world’s largest ultra-high-voltage transmission system, which is connecting remote, wind-rich northern and western provinces to the more populous central and eastern ones. At the same time, the government is providing incentives for wind farm development in less-windy areas nearer to population centers. Advances in wind power technology can allow greater capture of energy in spots without the strongest wind resources.”
Fortunately, America has woken up to the potential of wind power. The U.S. Department of Energy has announced, via its newly published Wind Vision report, that it’s economically viable for the amount of energy produced by its wind farms to more than double over the next five years. Wind energy amounts to just 4.5 percent, but will be more than doubled to 10 percent by 2020. By 2050, America expects wind power to contribute almost 35 percent of its energy needs.
Scientists have estimated that the earth has enough wind to meet the entire world’s energy needs seven times over if harvested correctly. It’s good to know that two of the largest economies in the world have begun to earnestly harvest wind energy. Just hope they don’t kill birds.
[Image Credit |Navigant Research, Efergy, GC China]