Blown away: China is set to become world's biggest wind power

Holland has the windmill. Will China's new cultural icon be the 21st-century version -- the wind turbine? Moves taken by the Middle Kingdom could ultimately position the country to dwarf the United States in terms of total wind power installed and would make China far and away the globe's premier wind power, according to alternative energy expert Ryan Wiser, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories.

Before 2009 draws to a close, China will already match or surpass the U.S. in terms of total amount of wind-power generation capacity installed, says Wiser, one of the top authorities on alternative energy development and planning. By 2011, it will definitely have surged ahead, he adds. And China's ambitions are growing. This year, the Chinese government will likely significantly expand its targets for wind-generation energy, with a goal of generating up to 150 gigawatts of wind-generated power by 2020.