China has overtaken Europe to become the world’s biggest producer of wind power after its domestic sector grew by 60% last year.
Following a government-backed drive to build new wind farms, China’s installed capacity now totals 145.1 GW, surpassing the EU's 141.6 GW, according to a new report by Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) published earlier this month.
"Wind power is leading the charge in the transition away from fossil fuels", said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of GWEC.
"Wind is blowing away the competition on price, performance and reliability, and we're seeing new markets open up across Africa, Asia and Latin America which will become the market leaders of the next decade,” he added.
The Chinese government's drive for clean energy is motivated by the need to reduce its dependence on coal at a time when heavy industry is slowing down, and when the choking smog that shrouds China’s cities is causing a national healthcare crisis.
In 2015, the world’s wind power industry grew by 22% year-on-year, following the installation of over 63 GW of new capacity. Chinese wind energy accounted for 30.5 GW,