China will invest 1.5 trillion yuan (US$187.5 billion) to increase the ratio
of renewable energy consumption, said Wu Guihui, vice-director-general of the
Bureau of Energy under the National Development and Reform Commission.
Currently, 7.5 per cent of China's energy comes from renewable sources. The
country's goal is to make it 10 per cent by 2010 and 16 per cent by 2020,
revised from its initial goal of 20 per cent.
"Within 10 years, we will see a population of 30 million, in all the remote
rural areas, have access to electricity, mainly from renewable energy-powered
projects," Wu told the Great Wall World Renewable Energy Forum & Exhibition
on Tuesday in Beijing.
"The shortage of fuel for daily consumption in rural areas will also be
solved by that time."
Furthermore, the country will push the development of the renewable energy
industry, introducing advanced foreign technology and further developing
technology with proprietary intellectual property rights.
Hydro-powered electricity capacity will rise from the current 117 million
kilowatts to 190 million kilowatts in 2010 and 300 million kilowatts in 2020,
when, Wu said, 70 per cent of the nation's potential hydroelectric energy will
From 2002 to 2004, China poured 4.7 billion yuan (US$587.5 million) into
small-scale hydropower systems intended for rural areas, which today serve more
than 5 million people in 12 provinces and regions.
Meanwhile, the capacity of biomass power will reach 5.5 million kilowatts in
2010 and 30 million kilowatts in 2020. For wind power, it will be 5 million
kilowatts in 2010 and 30 million kilowatts in 2020.
"A group of major hydro-power bases will be established along major rivers,"
Wu said. "Scores of wind power plants, each with a production capacity of 1
million kilowatts annually, will be set up along the eastern coastal areas and
northwestern and northern China."
Solar energy will be extensively used in remote rural areas, including for
water heaters and cooking facilities.
As the world's leader in the use of solar cells, China intends to increase
the total area of cells in use to 300 million square metres by 2020.
"China has made some progress in the renewable energy sector but is still in
the initial stages," Wu said.
Hydropower produced 400 billion kilowatt-hours last year, 16 per cent of
China's total consumption, with the Three Gorges project generating 48.6 billion
kilowatt-hours. It is expected to generate 84.7 billion kilowatt-hours annually
when it is completed in 2009.
Even so, Wu said: "Two-thirds of water resources remain unexploited.
"In the hydro-power sector, we are facing challenges including environmental
protection and the relocation of residents.
"China lags far behind Europe and the United States in developing wind power,
though it is a wind-rich country."