China has more than tripled its target for wind power capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2020, likely making it the world's fastest growing market for wind energy technology, state press said.
China is aiming for an annual wind power growth rate of 20 percent for the foreseeable future, Feng Junshi, an official with the National Energy Administration, told a Beijing conference, according to the China Daily.
The new target for 2020 is up from a goal of 30 gigawatts announced by the government 18 months ago, the report said.
China currently has 12 gigawatts of installed wind power, but that is set to grow to 20 gigawatts by next year, the newspaper said.
"China is powering ahead with no visible signs of slow down," the report quoted Steve Sawyer of the Brussels-based Global Wind Energy Council as saying.
"They intend to become the largest market in the world, very clearly, and they probably will unless things take off in the US again in the relatively near term."
China is currently the fourth largest producer of wind power after the United States, Germany and Spain.
In addition to vast wind power facilities in its arid north and northwest regions, China is also actively building wind farms off its eastern and southern coasts.
The country is the world's second largest energy producer, but is struggling to wean itself off its dependency on coal, which is highly polluting and blamed for emitting the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: Ambitious EU targets for renewable energies make economic sense