Gansu Wind Farm is the World’s Largest
Though the project will not be fully completed until 2020, Gansu Wind Farm in the northwest province of Gansu in China is already the world’s largest. Begun in 2009, the farm has a capacity of 5,160 MW, five times greater than that of the next two largest wind farms, Jaisalmer Wind Farm in India and Alta Wind Energy Center in California. By the time of completion, it is expected to have grow to 20,000 megawatts at an estimated cost of 120 billion Chinese yuan ($17.5 billion). The project, which is being built by more than 20 developers, is one of six national wind power megaprojects approved by the Chinese government. Gansu reflects a larger move to invest heavily in renewables, a surprising turn for a country often associated with pollution, rapid industrialization, and short-sighted planning. In fact, though China, likely to surpass the United States as the world’s largest oil importer, accounted for one-third of the world’s growth in oil consumption in 2013, it is also the leader in renewable energy investment. As Jack Perkowski notes in Forbes, China spent a total of $56.3 billion on wind, solar and other renewable projects last year and is now home to about 24 percent of the world’s renewable power capacity.