The European wind power industry should take quick notice of two different yet related pieces of information traveling around cyberspace in the past week as both deal with China’s stunningly rapid growth.
A Bloomberg article noted an Oxford University study indicates European companies could benefit from collaboration with Chinese manufacturers seeking to improve wind park efficiency as the nation continues its meteoric expansion of the emissions-free sector.
“Wind park siting, or picking the best site for the turbine to gain the most wind energy, and grid development are among opportunities for collaboration between European and Chinese companies, Benito Mueller, director of Oxford University’s Institute for Energy Studies, and colleagues wrote in a study,” the Bloomberg article noted.
China erected more turbines last year than any other country and may install a record 18 GW of wind power capacity this year, the article said, adding second-quarter financing of renewable energy in China surged 72% to $11.5 billion, more than Europe and the US combined.
Several days later, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said calculations based on preliminary data show that China has now overtaken the United States to become the world’s largest energy user.
According to the Associated Press, the IEA data shows China consumed 2.252 billion tons of oil equivalent of energy in 2009, from sources that included coal, nuclear power, natural gas and hydroelectric power — about 4% more than the US.
The IEA statistics, according to the report, indicate China’s energy consumption has more than doubled in less than a decade, from 1.107 billion tons in 2000 — fueled by its burgeoning population and rapidly growing manufacturing-based economy.
Clouding the issue, China, the world’s number one emitter of greenhouse gases, rejected the IEA statistics. What remains absolutely clear, however, is that the global intersection of energy supply, economics and the environment is quickly changing and that nations, in addition to industries, capable of adapting to that change will remain successful.
European policy makers can help facilitate this new world order for the 21st century by continuing to promote wind power as one answer to these tumultuous times.
What do you think about Europe’s ability to keep developing its wind power sector as China’s energy demands continue to expand? Join in the discussion by commenting below.