China’s Wind Energy Conversion – Too Little Too Late?

chinawind.jpgEstimates are that over 3/4 of all energy produced in China last year came from coal. Not only is China the world’s most populated country (1.25 billion people) but it is also the world’s fastest growing economy (9.5% increase in GDP for 2004). Put these two together, and that is a lot of coal being burned, with energy demands increasing in unison with the expanding economy.
Is there a cleaner solution? China has unveiled a strategy to make offshore wind farms a key part of its energy program within two or three decades. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, can the planet’s most populous nation afford the envrionmental taxation of two or three decades more of blistering growth fueled by coal?