BRUSSELS (AP) -- China overtook Germany last year to become the world's second largest producer of wind power behind the United States, global wind energy producers said Monday.
The Global Wind Energy Council, which represents companies that make and manage wind power stations, said China's rapid drive to install wind turbines brought its total power capacity to 25.8 gigawatts, just squeaking past Germany's 25.77 gigawatts.
The U.S. has the most wind power capacity at 35 gigawatts, 36 percent of the world's total.
However, the wind energy group said it expects China to eventually overtake the U.S. and exceed its own target of building enough wind turbines to churn out 150 gigawatts of power by 2020.
China is the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, but is turning to renewable energy as well as coal as its growing economy calls for more power. Even with the large scale growth, wind power still accounts for only 1 percent of China's total electricity consumption.
Global wind energy capacity will increase from 158.5 gigawatts at the end of this year to 409 gigawatts by 2014, the group said.