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Hi-tech expected to guarantee success

By Wang Ying (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-08-08 07:20

The results of new research will be applied to the Games, officials with the Ministry of Science and Technology said yesterday.

Journalists look at the 2008 Beijing Olympic one-year countdown clock near Tiananmen Square in Beijing August 7, 2007. [Reuters]

More than 6 billion yuan ($780 million) has been invested in about 1,500 science and technology projects in urban construction, energy-saving, environmental protection, traffic management and information services for the Beijing Games, ministry sources said. About 1.5 billion yuan was contributed by the central budget and the rest by local government budgets and the public.

"We are confident of hosting a successful hi-tech Olympic Games next year as the country has invested heavily in construction and scientific innovations," Qin Yong, deputy director of the Development and Planning Department of the Ministry of Science and Technology, said.

"Special efforts have been made to tackle environment and traffic problems.

"The ministry will continue to support high-end and environment-friendly enterprises, promoting their independent research and development, and speeding up the application of intellectual property rights," he said.

To achieve the target of zero emission in the Olympic zone, Li-ion battery-powered vehicles will be used. The battery was designed by the Beijing Institute of Technology

Another 100 hybrid electric vehicles will be used to connect all the venues across the city.

So far, seven model buses have been built and all have passed the required road tests. The manufacturer will soon begin mass production, Chen Ligong, a senior engineer of Beijing Science and Technology Commission, said.

The Li-ion battery is designed for vehicles with a high energy density, and long-term repetitive use. Its high efficiency and zero emission have made it a major subject of research and development at home and abroad.

However, some accidents caused by the Li-ion battery have occurred in recent years, sparking concern over its safety.

"The Li-ion battery to be used in the Olympic buses is different and fully reliable for its safety," Chen said.

About 80 percent of buses and 70 percent of taxis in Beijing are expected to use clean fuel by the end of this year.

Renewable energy sources including solar energy, wind power and terrestrial heat will be used widely in the Olympic zone and is expected to save 64.5 million kwh a year.

Energy saving construction materials in the zone is expected to help save another 260 million kwh a year and reduce carbon dioxide emission of 230,000 tons a year, experts said.

A national key scientific project, the Beijing intelligent traffic management system, has built four centers to oversee 80 percent of traffic on urban roads.