China should promote the development of multiple energy types in its rural areas, said Vice Minister of Water Resources Suo Lisheng Friday.
The official said that developing rural energy sources was a "prerequisite for the social, economic and environmental development in the areas and is closely related with farmers' quality of life."
The official said China has many energy resources, including conventional and new energies.
In the country's vast rural areas there are abundant resources of wind power, solar energy, methane power, geothermal energy and small-scale hydroelectric power, which can be developed and effectively harnessed, he said.
Suo took the small-scale hydroelectric power as an example, saying that at least 130 million kilowatts of the energy are unexploited in China's rural area.
The official said the small-scale hydroelectric power resources are scattered in 1,600 counties in the forests and natural reserves.
As a clean and recycled energy type, the development of small-scale hydroelectric power can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and will not destroy the surrounding environment.
He said China would soon enact a Law on Recycled Resources to encourage the exploitation of clean and recycled energies including the small-scale hydroelectric power.
(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2005)