China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co has received approval to begin development of two renewable energy projects, one in Gansu and another in Sichuan Province.
"A substantial breakthrough on the Sichuan hydropower project has been achieved as Guangdong Nuclear has received approval for the Fujiang River program from the Sichuan provincial authority," the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said in a statement.
The hydro station in Sichuan is scheduled to start operation in 2009, generating 500 million kilowatt-hours of power a year, the firm said.
Guangdong Nuclear also plans to generate 117 million kilowatt-hours of electricity from a wind farm in Gansu by the end of 2007 after an investment of 399 million yuan.
The nation has high hopes for the development of renewable energy resources, said Han Wenke, director of the Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission.
It is natural for energy companies to expand into different ways of producing power, he said.
"Nuclear power is a clean energy, though it is not renewable. Guangdong Nuclear should be encouraged to further tap into the environmentally friendly renewable energy segment," Han added.
As a major coal producer and consumer, China plans to spend 1.5 trillion yuan over the next 15 years to develop renewable sources for energy, including sun power, wind and biomass.
Guangdong Nuclear is diversifying into renewable energy to tap China's growing demand for cleaner-burning fuels, Bloomberg said yesterday.
Han Xiaoping, executive vice-president of Beijing Falcon Pioneer Technology Co Ltd, advised Guangdong Nuclear to remain focused on its core business while tapping into other fields.
"The firm should further strengthen efforts in nuclear capacity building and research," Han said. "That is because nuclear power, as a clean energy option, also deserves further development in China."
As China's second-largest nuclear reactor builder, Guangdong Nuclear has about 4,000 megawatts of nuclear power capacity in operation in Guangdong Province.
(China Daily February 16, 2007)