China wind power capacity jumps to record high

wind turbine
A Vestas wind turbine. Image credit: Vestas

China boosted its installed wind energy capacity last year to a record 19.81 million kilowatts as the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter tries to switch its power grid to cleaner energy sources.

The National Energy Administration said Thursday that produced 153.4 billion kilowatt hours of in 2014, making up 2.8 percent of total generated electricity.

Last year's installed represented a 23 percent jump from the 2013 level of 16.09 million kilowatts.

China still produces about 80 percent of its total energy and about 60 percent of electricity by burning coal.

In November, the government pledged to produce 20 percent of the country's total energy through non-fossil fuels by 2030, doubling its current level, while capping growth in its carbon emissions by the same year, it not earlier.

Already, China is a world leader in solar and wind energy production and has announced plans to further boost renewable energy investment. At the same time, China burns about half of the world's coal and emits twice as much carbon as the United States, the second biggest emitting country.

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