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China Trying to Diversify Energy Supply

China is seeking alternate energy supplies in regions where sources other than coal or oil, such as solar or wind power, are possible, said an official Monday.

Zheng Xinli, deputy director of the Policy Research Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, a major think tank, noted that "China has rich renewable energy resources, and must optimize its energy structure to shake off its energy shortage."

The use of solar and wind energy is mature in China, he acknowledged, but the effective use of terrestrial heat and tidal energy remain primitive. He said China has formed an energy development strategy that depends on the uniqueness of local energy resources.

In northern China, wind power development has become a popular industry. According to Zhou Fengqi, a senior officer for a state wind power program, China has 3.2 billion kilowatts of wind power capacity, 253 million kilowatts are useable, ranking first in the world.

In the west, where the average daily sunlight surpasses 3,000 kilowatts, solar power use has been used. In Qinghai province, there are 39 established solar power stations, effectively solving power shortages in remote areas.

Meanwhile, China is also developing terrestrial heat and tidal energy, mainly in provinces in southwestern China and provinces along the coast respectively. Experts noted the use of alternative energy resources usually have problems in technologies and funds, with higher development costs and lower utilization rate.

The Chinese government is drafting a bill to promote the use of renewable energy and is expected to submit it to the National People's Congress for passage at the end of the year.

(Xinhua News Agency August 31, 2004)

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