China aims for greener economy over next 5 years

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 4, 2011
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China will set directives for greater use of clean energy and lower carbon emissions to put its economy on the track of sustainable development, Zhang Guobao, former head of the National Energy Administration, said Friday.


China aims to increase the proportion of non-fossil fuels in overall primary energy use to 11.4 percent by 2015 from the current 8 percent, Zhang Guobao told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

The target has been included in the draft of the 12th Five-Year Program (2011-2015) and will be mandatory, said Zhang, a member of the Standing Committee of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. It will keep China on course to achieve its pledge to up its use of non-fossil fuels to 15 percent by 2020, he noted.

The draft will be reviewed and is expected to be approved by the country's lawmakers attending the annual session of the National People's Congress, which opens Saturday in Beijing.

As China's economy has greatly expanded over the past three decades, so too has its consumption of energy which mainly comes from coal. Zhang said coal accounts for around 70 percent of China's energy mix, 30 percentage points higher than the world's average.

To have a greener economy, China should trim its dependency on coal and promote greater use of cleaner fuels, he said, referring to nuclear power and wind, solar and biomass energy.

By the end of 2010, China's installed wind power capacity exceeded 41 million kilowatts to be the world's largest. China also is presently constructing 28.71 million kilowatts of nuclear power capacity, also the most in the world.

Zhang said the five-year plan will aim to boost the development of nuclear power while ensuring the safety. China will start construction of its first inland nuclear power plant this year, he said, adding that it will be built in either Hubei, Hunan or Jiangxi province.

By 2020, more than half of the 15 percent non-fossil share will come from hydropower, he added.

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