wind-farm-nanao.jpgReflecting China's newfound commitment to alternative energy, China Resources Power Holdings, one of the country's largest power companies, plans to expand its wind farm capacity the current 200MW to around 900MW next year.

Speaking at the utility's financial results, CFO Wang Xiabing said wind will generate around 4.5% of the company's total capacity by 2010, up from just 1% today.

That's better than nothing, of course, but still far short of the diversification achieved by big electricity generators in the west.

.For example, Spain's Iberdrola has grown to be the world's biggest wind power operator with a portfolio of wind farms representing 6,500MW capacity. Around 18% of the power it generates comes from wind, which is the same share as that taken by its most polluting conventional sources, coal and fuel oil.

In contrast, around 80% of China's power still comes from coal and in the case of CR Power , 90% of its installed capacity is currently coal-powered.

Nevertheless, CR Power has belatedly woken up to the advantages of diversification after suffering a big hike in coal prices last year.

“Wind power offers us a steady stream of income and it also isn't subject to same volatility with coal prices,” said Ms. Wang.

Pic shows CR Power's Shantou wind farm in Nan'ao, Guangdong province, courtesy of Greenpeace.

More EngagingChina stories on wind power here