China becomes hydro superpower, but aims for greater capacity

21:06, August 25, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

As all generating units began running Wednesday at Xiaowan Hydropower Station in the southwestern Yunnan Province, China's hydropower capacity became the world's largest.

The new 700,000 kilowatt-unit at Xiaowan sent China's installed hydropower capacity just above 200 million kilowatts and marked the completion of the 4.2 million-kilowatt Xiaowan Hydropower Station project, China's second largest hydropower project after the Three Gorges.

With a total investment of 40 billion yuan (5.86 billion U.S. dollars), Xiaowan can produce 19 billion kWh of electricity every year.

At a ceremony at the station, Liu Qi, deputy director of the National Energy Administration (NEA), hailed it as "a great leap forward" for China's hydropower industry after a century of development.

China's first hydropower station, Shilongba Power Station, was built near Kunming, provincial capital of Yunnan, 100 years ago.

"The rapid development of the hydropower industry is of great significance to optimizing China's energy structure and reducing carbon emissions," Sun Yucai, executive vice chairman of the China Electricity Council, said at the ceremony.

The government promised at the Copenhagen Conference on global climate change last year that China would cut its carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 40 to 45 percent by 2020.

China also undertook a commitment to generate 15 percent of its power from non-fossil sources by 2020, up from the current 7.8 percent.

As the most competitive non-fossil energy, hydropower was key for China to realize its emissions reduction goal, Sun said.

China has long relied on coal to fuel its economic growth with about 83 percent of its electricity produced by coal-fired stations, according to the NEA.

To match the installed hydropower capacity of 200 million kilowatts, thermal power plants would have to burn 288 million tonnes of coal equivalent, emit 855 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and 5.4 million tonnes of carbon sulfur dioxide every year, according to China Electricity Council estimates.

Zhang Guobao, director of the NEA, told Xinhua Wednesday that hydro projects with another 70 million kilowatts capacity were under construction, and another 100 million kilowatts of capacity was needed.

"If all the planned hydropower projects begin construction in the next three years, it is still possible to expand the current installed hydropower capacity to 380 million kilowatts by 2020," Zhang said.

"We need careful and detailed planning and imperative approval procedures," he said.

In a separate interview with web portal Sina.com Wednesday, Zhang said China would expand its installed hydropower capacity to 300 million kilowatts by 2015 in an effort to cut carbon emissions.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Supporters of the Iranian team hold up placards during the final match between Iran and China at the 16th Asian Men's Volleyball Championship in Tehran, capital of Iran, Sept. 29, 2011. Iran won the final 3-1 and hence the champion of the tournament on Thursday. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)
  • Greek artists burn copies of emergency tax notices during a protest against austerity measures in Athens, Greece, on Sept. 29, 2011. The Greek government is facing a new wave of protests as it introduces new austerity measures to obtain the sixth tranche of aids necessary to overcome the acute debt crisis.(Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
  • A winner of the 36th Miss Bikini International 2011 poses for a photo at the Olympic Sailing Center in Qingdao, a coastal city of east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)
  • Staff members are in position at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Commander-in-chief of China's manned space program Chang Wanquan announced Thursday night that the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module was successful. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
  • Champion of Miss Bikini from Poland receives trophy at the final of the 36th Miss Bikini International World Competition in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 28, 2011. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 28, 2011 shows autumn scenery of populus euphratica forests in Ejina Banner, north China's Inner Mongolia. The populus euphratica forests here, with an area of 390,000 mu, or 26,000 hectares, is one of the world's most famous populus euphratica forests. The golden leaves and sunshines here in autumn is able to attract more than 100,000 person-times annually. (Xinhua/Zhao Tingting)
Hot Forum Discussion