China announces ambitious clean energy plans for next five years

14:03, March 05, 2011      

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China on Saturday announced goals of building 235 million kilowatts of power generation capacity from clean energy forms in the next five years, in an effort to trim the country's heavy reliance on fossil fuels.

From 2011 to 2015, China plans to launch nuclear energy projects with a combined generation capacity of 40 million kw. In addition to boosting the construction of nuclear power plants in the coastal areas, new plants will be planned in central regions, according to the government's draft 12th Five-Year Plan.

The draft plan will be deliberated and approved by the country's national legislators at the Fourth Session of the 11th National People's Congress.

The country also plans to build hydropower stations along major rivers such as the Jinsha River, Yalong River and Dadu River with an installed capacity of 120 million kw.

At least 70 million kw of wind power capacity and five million kw of solar power capacity will be created in the next five years, according to the draft plan.

The country plans to build six large wind power bases on land and another two in coastal areas, and locate projects of solar power plants mainly in Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang and Yunnan.

On fossil fuels, the draft said China will raise energy efficiency in using coal, maintain the current volume of domestic oil production, and facilitate a rapid increase in the production of natural gases.

Moreover, China will construct oil and gas pipelines of about 150,000 kilometers in the next five years. The pipelines include a gas pipeline to central Asia and oil pipelines to Kazakhstan and Myanmar.

China has grown to be the world's top energy producer and user, according to the China Energy Research Society. Its annual energy consumption totaled 3.25 billion tonnes of coal equivalent last year, up 5.9 percent from a year earlier.

But China's energy mix, in which coal accounts for about 70 percent of its total energy consumption, has put the country under great pressures in dealing with climate change and protecting the environment.

Zhang Guobao, former chief of the National Energy Administration, told Xinhua on Friday that China aimed to increase the proportion of non-fossil fuels in overall primary energy use to 11.4 percent by 2015.

Source: Xinhua
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