As mentioned in previous posts, the United Nations is calling on rich (developed) countries to provide developing countries with $500-600 billion a year in support to tackle climate change. A recent report declares that India needs $1.1 trillion in the next several years to cut emission growth by 50-60% by 2030. Another report from the last week says that China could cut its emissions by 30% by 2030 as well with $900 billion of investment in wind energy.
This new report estimates that $900 billion in investments at current prices could satisfy half of China’s power needs by 2030. The India study, on the other hand, estimated the costs of switching to a greener economy with some assumptions of dropping prices due to technology and manufacturing breakthroughs.
A $900 billion investment would provide China with 640GW of wind energy within the next 20 years. Eventually, the study authors thought that wind energy could provide China with all of its electricity needs.
China’s current plan is to invest $140 billion to build seven wind farms within the next ten years, with an energy output of 120GW.
China is the leading contributor to greenhouse gases in the world now. If China is to address climate change at the level many are hoping it will, it could contribute a lot more money (with the help of developed countries) into its wind power resources. However, the issue in China is not just about building wind farms.
China is struggling to connect its existing wind power resources to its energy network. Currently, the country has about 12GW of wind power installed, but only about 3GW is connected to the grid. This supplies China with just 0.4% of its energy needs.
Much more work needs to be put into China’s power infrastructure, technology and human resources, among other things, to supply more of its energy from green technology.
China could become a world leader in wind energy, but investments in wind farms need to also be balanced with more development in supporting technologies, human resources, and other related fields. Of course, the commitment to put the money in for any of it still needs to be made as well. We will see how China and other countries respond in December in Copenhagen, and leading up to Copenhagen as well.
Image Credit 1: Vlastula via flickr under a Creative Commons license
Image Credit 2: El Fotopakismo via flickr under a Creative Commons license
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