Clean and renewable energy resources like solar energy can play a much more active role in easing energy supply tensions of the country accompanying its booming economy, Chinese energy expert Luo Yunjun said in Beijing recently.
"China is rich in clean energy resources, such as solar energy, wind power and biomass, but the development and use of them in China is far from enough, especially compared with developed countries," said Luo, a senior engineer from the solar energy research institute of Beijing.
Statistics from Beijing New and Renewable Energy Resources Association show that by the end of 2003, the use of solar water heaters across China reached 50 million square meters, saving as much as 8 million tons of coal every year.
Meanwhile, other products like solar stoves and solar cells have also been popularized or used in Tibet, Beijing and some other parts of the country.
However, China still has much to do in developing and popularizing clean energy use.The popularization of solar water heaters in China is still at a rather low level -- 3 to 4 percent -- far below the aim of reaching 15 percent by 2015 that the Chinese government is striving for.
Another problem is that high buildings in big cities cannot install solar water heaters with current technology. The comparatively high prices also hinder the popularization of such heaters.
"The Chinese government will attach greater importance to developing clean energy resources, and has already worked out a long-term plan for energy development," said former research fellow Wang Changxi with the research institute of energy resources under the State Development and Reform Commission.
A forum on the combination of energy saving, solar energy and buildings was held in Beijing on October 31. A senior official from the Ministry of Construction told the forum that the government will take measures to promote development of firms producing solar products, and energy-saving buildings.
Luo called on the government to provide more financial support for developing clean energy resources. Preferential policies could encourage more people to use clean energy.
China is now drafting a law for the promotion of new and renewable energy resources. This will undoubtedly boost new energy-related industries.
"Clean energy resources are quite promising and have great potential for both China and the world, as they can help us both tackle the problem of energy shortage and protect our environment." Luo said. "China could do more to exploit the great potential to serve its economic development."