10-year plan for clean energy

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China plans to spend about 5 trillion yuan (US$738 billion) in the next decade developing cleaner energy to cut emissions and reduce reliance on coal, a government official said.

Plans to develop cleaner energy from 2011 to 2020 have been submitted to the State Council for approval, Jiang Bing, head of the National Energy Administration's planning and development department, told a media briefing in Beijing yesterday.

The cleaner energy guidelines included the exploration of new energy and renewable energy such as nuclear, wind and solar power and geothermal energy as well as unconventional gas. Upgrades of conventional energy such as clean coal and the smart grid will also be included, Jiang said.

"The world's major economies have all released clean energy policies to facilitate economic recovery and race to control the commanding point in the future world economic landscape," Jiang said. "China must take this opportunity to develop our own cleaner energy business, create new economic growth point and vie for a favorable position in the global competition."

The National Energy Administration also disclosed its energy plan for the next five years, which focuses on tighter measures to cut energy consumption, higher efficiency of traditional energy, acceleration of clean energy development and improvements of the energy transmission network.

Under the five-year plan, non-fossil energy is targeted to make 11 percent of total energy consumption by 2015. Of this, natural gas usage could increase to 260 billion cubic meters, with hydropower capacity at 250 million kilowatts, nuclear power at 39 million kilowatts and biomass energy at 110 billion tons of standard coal.

China pledged last year to cut carbon dioxide intensity - carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP - by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels. Also by 2020, non-fossil energy was aimed to account for 15 percent of the total energy consumption. Nuclear power capacity is planned at more than 75 million kilowatts and hydropower at more than 300 million kilowatts. Biomass energy is expected to reach 240 billion tons of standard coal.

Zhou Xi'an, an official from NEA, told the briefing that energy supply and demand kept growing steadily in the first half of this year and would remain stable for the second half.

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