China plans 21,300-MW hydro cascade in Yunnan Province

Hydroelectric power company Huadian plans to construct a cascade of 13 hydropower projects with a combined capacity of more than 21,000 MW along the Nu River in China’s Yunnan Province, media reports indicate.

The construction of dams and reservoirs on the UNESCO-protected Nu River – also known as the Salween – was first proposed in 2004, but disputes among China’s leadership and opposition from both Chinese and southeast Asian environmental groups has delayed the projects, Reuters reported.

No definitive timeline for the project was provided.

In 2010, China reported it plans to boost its installed hydroelectric power capacity to 300 million kW by 2015 from the current 200 million in an effort to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Government officials told media outlets that such an expansion is needed for China’s goal to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 40 to 45 percent by 2020.

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