The controversy regarding wind farms in China relates not to the wind projects themselves, which are obviously beneficial from the standpoint of reducing fossil fuel usage, but the money that the Chinese government has been earning with them from the UN-administered Clean Development Mechanism. This program directs money and carbon emissions credits (which are worth money) to nations who are developing alternative energy facilities. The problem is that under the UN rules, a country can only qualify to receive these subsidies if it proves that the projects it’s building would not have been built otherwise. In China, some evidence has come to light to show that they were planning to build these wind farms anyway as part of their normal energy development, which means essentially the Chinese got extra money for nothing. In December 2009 the CDM board denied approval to disburse funds based on 50 wind projects in China. So I don’t think the question is, should China (or anyone else in the world) stop building wind farms, but rather, how should the UN continue to incentivize developing countries to build wind farms and other renewable energy projects. That question continues to be explored.
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