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Hydroelectric power 40% of traditional energy
Updated: 2004-10-27 01:14

China's hydroelectric reserves stand at 700 million kilowatts, 40 percent of the country's total conventional sources of energy, according to a new statistics released Wednesday by the State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC).

"China leads the world in term of hydroelectric power, with approximately 400 million exploitable kilowatts and annual hydropower production of about 170 million kwh," said Zhang Guobao, vice minister of the SDRC.

Addressing an United Nations seminar on sustainable development of hydropower, Zhang said that the hydroenergy, equivalent to 60 billion tons of standard coal, is China's second largest energy resource next to coal.

In 2004, Zhang noted, China's gross installed hydropower generating capacity has exceeded 100 million kw, making up one quarter of gross installed electric power capacity and providing some 20 percent of the country's total electric power.

With China's sustained and rapid economic development, the demand for petroleum, coal and electric power remains high in recent years.

In 2003, China ranked third in the world in term of energy production, with an output of 1.6 billion tons' standard coal, and second in energy consumption, with total consumption of 1.68 billion tons' standard coal, the SDRC statistics show.

Hydroelectric power is an important component of energy resources of the world, providing one-fifth of world electric power, Zhang Guobao acknowledged. Unlike coal, he added, China's primary source of energy, hydropower is a renewable energy that can be tapped on a large scale.

China will put priority on hydroelectric projects as part of its sustainable development strategy to reduce pollution in the future, Zhang said.

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