Sunday, May 16, 2004

China could become world power in wind energy, Greenpeace says

China could reap enormous benefits from wind power and has the chance of becoming a world leader in the coming "energy revolution," the environmental group Greenpeace said Sunday.

"China is on the verge of a major breakthrough," Steve Sawyer, director of Greenpeace's policy and business unit, said in a statement. "If it acts now, it could be the major player in the global energy revolution."

The Greenpeace comment came as China prepares to draft its first law on the promotion of renewable energy.

Chinese officials speaking at a meeting in Beijing Saturday seemed to agree on the potential of wind energy, which, according to Greenpeace, could also help create 382,000 Chinese jobs over the next two decades.

"I have a golden dream," Xu Dingming, the top official in charge of energy at China's National Development and Reform Commission, said according to the Greenpeace statement. "Wind energy is clean, unselfish and powerful. I hope my dream comes true."

China's roaring economy demands ever-larger amounts of energy, meaning policy planners have to look either abroad or investigate alternative energy sources to meet demand.

As an indication of China's huge appetite for power, the country last year overtook Japan as the world's second-largest importer of oil after the United States.


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