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Report: China is world's leading renewable-energy producer

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(Read caption) A sheep herder follows his flock through a wind power farm outside of Urumqi in western China's Xinjiang province.

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A report from the Climate Group found that China leads the world in installed renewable energy and is overtaking more developed countries in developing sustainable technologies.

The Climate Group, a nonprofit group backed by a several large corporations and regional and local governments around the world, found that China has reached 152 gigawatts of up-and-running renewable energy capacity, thanks to the world's largest hydroelectric capacity and the fifth-largest wind-power capacity. The country plans to double its renewable energy output to 15 per cent by 2020.

According to the Department of Energy, the United States renewable capacity in 2006 was about 101 gigawatts, or 7 percent of total output.

China is also a major exporter of renewable-energy technologies. It is second only to Japan in output of solar photovoltaic technology, and its output has doubled for each of the past four years. According to the report, China will become the world's leading exporter of wind turbines by 2009. It is also becoming a leader in solar water heaters, energy-efficient appliances, and rechargeable batteries.

The country has also introduced automobile fuel-efficiency standards that are 40 percent higher than those in the United States.

The report says that investment in renewable energy in China reached about $12 billion in 2007, making it second only to Germany.


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