China needs more hydropower projects to fight climate change: lawmaker

10:17, February 28, 2010      

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China should build more large hydropower projects so it can live up to its promise to the international community, Wang Shucheng, vice chairman of the Finance and Economic Committee under the National People's Congress (China's top legislature), said on Saturday.

China in 2007 promised to make renewable resources supply 15 percent of its total energy consumption by 2020, in a bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable economic growth.

To keep the promise, lower-cost hydropower is China's first choice as the country has abundant water resources and mature technology in this field, in comparison with nuclear, wind and solar power, said the former water resources minister at a forum discussing the functions of dams and reservoirs in fighting climate change.

However, out of environmental and migrant concerns, China in recent years has rarely approved any large-scale hydropower projects, he said.

To achieve the goal, China needs to raise the installed capacity of its hydropower to 300 million kilowatts (KW) by 2020 from 190 million KW at the end of 2009, he said.

The lawmaker asked the country to hurry up, as constructions of large and mid-sized hydropower projects usually take five to ten years.

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