China to increase development of renewables including hydro

China will continue to rely on coal for most of its energy needs, but will speed up development of renewable energy by planning new hydropower and wind plants, a senior official said in published remarks.

The goal is to increase renewable energy to 10 percent of total energy use by 2010, said Zhao Xiaoping, head of the Energy Bureau of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission. However, he did not disclose the percentage of renewable energy in current consumption.

Zhao wrote in the official Money China magazine that China would start building large and middle-sized hydropower stations with total capacity of 15,000 MW in 2007.

The country plans to increase total hydropower capacity to 190,000 MW by 2010, according to Zhao, which would account for 22.6 percent of a planned total generating capacity of 840,000 MW by 2010.

In 2006, China added 10,000 MW of hydroelectric capacity. It had 128,570 MW of hydropower at the end of 2006.

The country also is to start constructing two wind power plants this year, one in coastal Jiangsu Province and one in northern Hebei Province, with at least 1,000 MW of generating capacity expected to be available by the year end, Zhao said. Last year, China built 2,300 MW of wind power farms.

Zhao said China also would accelerate the preparation of two nuclear plants, one in Haiyang in eastern China’s Shandong Province and one in Ningde in southern Fujian Province, and ensure construction work can begin during 2008-2010. The goal is to have a total of 10,000 MW of nuclear capacity under construction during 2006-2010, he said.

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