My recent visit to Scandinavia reminded me of the importance of the extensive use of wind energy to the region and prompted consideration of the opportunities to rural agricultural communities in China. Whilst China is the world’s leader in renewable energy production being the largest manufacturer and user of both wind turbines and solar panels, it is the production models adopted by countries such as Denmark, through use of individual and community co-operative energy generation, that offers wonderful opportunities to invigorate rural Chinese communities being left behind in the race to urbanisation.
Wind power generated
39% of Denmark's electricity consumption in 2014 and the government targets to increase the share to 50% by 2020.
Wind power has gained very high social acceptance in Denmark, with the development of community wind farms playing a major role. Families have been offered a tax exemption for generating electricity within their own or an adjoining community  and by 2001 wind turbine cooperatives had installed 86% of all the wind turbines in the country. While this could involve purchasing a turbine outright, more often families purchased shares in wind turbine cooperatives which in turn invested in community wind turbines.
Whilst many countries tried to subsidize green technology in the last century but most failed to make a viable industry. The Danish system was an exception by providing 30% of initial capital cost in the early years which was gradually reduced to zero. Surplus produced energy can be connected to the national grid at market charge rates (ie the meter goes backwards) however there is a feed-in charge.
As of 2014, China leads the world in the production and use of wind power, solar photovoltaic power and smart grid technologies, generating almost as much water, wind and solar energy as all of France and Germany's power plants combined.
Coal production in China falls for the first time this century
The China National Coal Association (CNCA) has predicted that this years’ production decline will continue to fall at 2.5% year-on-year due to continuing pressure on the coal industry. This results from demanding new environmental regulations as well as increased investment in renewable energy, that has made China the world’s largest investor in clean technologies.
 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2014). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, Highlights (ST/ESA/SER.A/352).
 The Guardian: "Denmark aims to get 50% of all electricity from wind power", 26 March 2012
 Paul Gipe (1996). "Community-Owned Wind Development in Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands". Wind Works. Retrieved 2007-06-21
 The Guardian: "China coal production falls for first time this century", 27 January, 2015