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|Tuesday, July 10, 2001, updated at 08:09(GMT+8)|
China Moves to Optimize Energy StructureWith a view to better protecting the environment and acquiring sustainable development, China will exploit more new and renewable energies this century, according to a Sino-Italian international symposium, which opened Monday.
By the year 2015, the power created annually by the new and renewable energies in China is expected to be equivalent to that produced by some 43 million tons of standard coal, supposedly making up two percent of the then overall energy consumed, said reliable sources.
This means a save of about 60 million tons of coal every year, which is expected to effect a sharp reduction in the emissions of sulfur dioxide and many other pollutants.
Jointly organized by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Italian Ministry of the Environment and the Foreign Trade Commission, the two-day event aims to promote cooperation on environmental protection between the two countries.
How to develop new and renewable energies in China will be the focus of the symposium, where hundreds of officials and experts from China and Italy as well as some famous international financial institutions, will exchange views on a variety of energy issues.
Possessing abundant and diversified energy resources, China is one of the biggest countries in the world in terms of energy production and consumption. In the mid-1990s, China achieved a balance between the energy supply and demand.
However, it relies heavily on coal, which not only meets almost 75 percent of the country's total energy demands, but also poses a serious threat to the environment, the experts noted.
"Having sufficient energies is a key factor ensuring China's sustainable development," said Chen Jiagui, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
"The environmental situation is getting grim," he added, stressing "it appears there is increasing pressure on China to put in more effort to develop new and renewable energy resources."
Taking seriously the environmental problems caused by the exploitation of energies, the Chinese government has come up with a series of laws and regulations, and established supervision and control systems in this regard, said Qu Geping, chairman of the Environmental and Resources Protection Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC).
In recent years, new measures such as tax reduction and exemption and loans with discount interest have been taken by government departments at various levels to encourage the development of various new and renewable energies.
At present, methane, solar energy, wind energy and some other renewable energy resources used each year in China could be converted into three million tons of standard coal, merely taking up an extremely tiny proportion of the entire energy consumption.
While expanding the energy supply and maintaining coal as the major energy source, China will make more efforts this century to improve the structure of its energy supply, increase the energy utilization efficiency, thus alleviating environmental pollution.
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