China promised Wednesday to develop renewable energy for its fast-growing economy, stepping up efforts to promote hydroelectric, nuclear, solar and wind energy, as well natural gas extracted from garbage dumps and coal mines.
A man looks at a windmill generating electricity at the Zhangbei Gutou Wind Power Plant, May 2006 in Zhangbei, outside of Zhangjiakou in Hebei province. [Agencies]
In the country's first ever white paper on its energy conditions and policies, Beijing pledged to give top priority to developing renewable energy.
"China's energy development emphasizes thrift, cleanness and safety," says the white paper titled "China's Energy Conditions and Policies".
The share of renewable sources and nuclear power in China's energy consumption rose from 4 percent in 1980 to 7.2 percent last year, according to the white paper.
However, it notes that the energy structure with coal playing the main role will remain unchanged for a long time to come.
China will develop the coal industry in an orderly way, actively developing electric power, expediting the development of oil and gas and improving energy development in rural areas.
"China will pay more attention to the clean utilization of energy resources, especially coal, and make it a focus of environmental protection," it said.
Greenhouse Gases Emissions
It also says that China takes greenhouse gases seriously and will take more measures to reduce its emissions.
"As a responsible developing country, China attaches great importance to environmental protection and prevention of global climate change," it says.
"China aims to achieve the goal of basically curbing the trend of ecological deterioration, reducing total emissions of major pollutants by 10 percent and gain visible results in the control of greenhouse gas emissions," it adds.
It will also push forward structural adjustment, improve energy conservation in industry, launch energy-saving projects and advocate energy conservation in society in effort to promote all-round energy conservation.
China is accelerating its development of a modern energy industry, taking resource conservation and environmental protection as two basic state policies, it adds.
No Threat To The World
The white paper emphasizes that China's energy development will make positive contributions to the world's energy security and stability.
"China did not, does not and will not pose any threat to the world's energy security," it says.
As the world's second biggest energy producer, China has a relatively strong foundation for energy production and supply.
"For a long time China has relied largely on domestic energy resources to develop its economy. The rate of self-sufficiency has been above 90 percent, much higher than that in most developed countries," the paper says.
It notes that with a large population, the per-capita average of energy resources is very low.
The per-capita average of both coal and hydropower resources in China is 50 percent of the world's average, while the per-capita average of both oil and natural gas resources is only about 1/15 the world's average. The per-capita average of arable land is less than 30 percent of the world's average, something which has hindered the development of biomass energy.