China’s wind farms produce more electric than US nuclear
China’s wind farms are reported to have a total theoretical operating capacity of 115,000 megawatts. In comparison, Americas nuclear reactors have a total combined capacity of 98,400 megawatts.
It is worth noting that capacity does not directly equal output. Instead, it represents the maximum amount of energy that could be produced under perfect conditions. Clearly, with a source as variable as the wind, the actual output of Chinas turbines will be lower than 115,000 megawatts but the statistics are still indicative of the differences in power generation between the nations.
The west has traditionally shown reluctance to turn to renewable energy generation in a big way, preferring to build more coal and nuclear-powered plants. Wind turbines in the UK contribute only a minor amount of power to the National Grid , representing 10 percent of total supply in February 2015 .
Although the US, UK and many other countries in Europe have several sites suitable for the construction of wind farms, plans are often rejected for large-scale operations due to opposition from nearby landowners and protesters who note how little energy one turbine alone produces.
With many located around designated areas of natural beauty, finding appropriate placements can be hard. It is because of this that the majority of the UKs turbines are situated off-shore, in the sea.
China has plans to expand the winds role in its energy generation even further. By 2020, the rising superpower wants to be producing 200,000 megawatts of electricity with wind farms.
China is also developing other forms of power generation though. Over a third of all nuclear plants under construction are located in China and the contribution of nuclear power will also triple by 2020.
The nation is also notorious for its usage of polluting aging coal-fired power stations as it endeavours to fuel its huge population. For the foreseeable future, wind power looks to remain the dominant player in Chinas energy generation program however.