Photo: © Liang Qiang / World Bank

China may still be overwhelmingly dependent on fossil fuels for power (especially coal) but the country’s rapid economic boom and consequent insatiable hunger for energy is causing it to explore and exploit all avenues, including massive wind and solar projects.

While the US is going natural gas crazy and despite plenty of solar possibilities, Australia is still in the thrall of cheap coal, China is embracing greener energy sources. Bear in mind China is still the largest emitter of greenhouse gasses and has a less-than-stellar record when it comes to toxic pollution.

But the market is driving this still centrally controlled, nominally communist state of over 1.3 billion inhabitants. And international companies don’t have to wait for the often time consuming policy changes that exist in most Western countries.

From the Canberra Times:

China is now the world’s single largest market for clean technology products and services. As a new report by California renewable energy consultancy Dallas Kachan points out, international business co-operation with China is nothing new, and has been growing rapidly for 30 years. But its status as a global clean-tech power is a new phenomenon, and countries like Australia risk being left behind in the race to identify and participate in rapidly emerging renewable energy markets across the world.

According to some China’s solar energy will outcompete coal by the end of the decade. And India is not far behind.

Check out the following video report from the Guardian on solar and wind power development in China’s desert province of Gansu:

See also:

Reuters – Vestas says gets 50 MW turbines order from China