The first self-developed straw-burning power generation project in China has started pilot operations in Suqian, in east China's Jiangsu Province, according to the China Energy Conservation Investment Corporation (CECIC).
The 248-million-yuan (US$31 million) project is expected to burn 170,000-200,000 tons of straw and generate 132 million kwh of electricity a year, Yang Xincheng, general manager of CECIC said in Beijing on Wednesday.
Currently around 140 million tons of straw and crop stalks are burned beside fields and highways in China each year. This threatens the environment as well as the lives of drivers and pedestrians.
By making full use of the resource China could save the equivalent of 100 million tons of coal, Yang said.
For the Chinese government the development of clean energy projects -- including wind and solar power and biomass-fired power plants -- is a top priority.
The government has approved the construction of over 30 biomass power plants. Some are already under construction while others will begin soon.
(Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2006)