VI. Improving Universal Energy Service

VI. Improving Universal Energy Service

The fundamental objective of China's energy development is to guarantee and improve the livelihood of its people. China makes great efforts to equalize access to basic energy service for its entire population. It balances the energy development in both urban and rural areas, enhances energy infrastructure and improves the energy conditions in the vast rural and border areas and areas inhabited by ethnic minorities in compact communities, so that energy development can benefit all Chinese people.

-- Providing universal access to electric power. In order to provide the people who have no access to electricity yet in the Tibet, Xinjiang Uygur and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions, as well as Qinghai, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces with electric power, the Chinese government increases investment to expand the coverage of the power grids and develop distributed renewable energy sources. In areas without grid connection, China establishes and completes the universal electric service system. By 2015, most of the people who at present don't have electricity in China will gain access to it.

-- Boosting energy development in rural areas. Energy development in rural areas is of great significance for the betterment of farmers' living standards and modern agricultural progress. Adhering to the principle of comprehensive and effective utilization of diverse energy sources according to local conditions, China increases financial input in energy infrastructure in rural areas and ameliorates rural energy management and services. It upgrades rural power grids to improve electric power conditions for rural life and production, and hence establish new-type rural power grids, which, backed by advanced technology and management, are safe, reliable, efficient and eco-friendly. The Chinese government will put great efforts into developing renewable energy sources in rural areas, and launch various green energy demonstration projects in accordance with local conditions. By 2015, a total of 200 green-energy counties and 1,000 villages using solar energy will be set up as examples. China rebuilds old hydropower stations in rural areas to increase their capacity and efficiency. It accelerates the electrification of hydropower-based rural areas, and builds more small-sized hydropower stations, so as to get rid of the use of wood as fuel in some rural areas. In addition, the Chinese government promotes the use of solar water heaters around the country.

-- Enhancing energy development in border regions. Since 1978, when China launched its reform and opening-up drive, great progress has been witnessed in both the society and economy of the country's border regions. However, the energy conditions in these areas, despite great improvement that has been made, still lag far behind the eastern and central regions. The Chinese government will appropriate financial funds to improve energy infrastructure and build energy projects that have a direct bearing on the people's livelihood in the border regions, especially in Tibet and Xinjiang, to support leapfrogging development there. It will accelerate the electrical grid construction in Tibet and Xinjiang as well as the Tibetan-inhabited areas in Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Gansu provinces, enlarge the coverage of the distribution grid, and strengthen the reliability of power supply. The government will draw up and implement the "Tibet Energy Development Program," and provide extra funding to Tibet for its electric power development - the direct investment during the 12th Five-Year Plan period to exceed 900 million yuan. The energy projects to improve the people' s livelihood, such as the "Electrification of Southern Xinjiang" and "Electrification of Northern Xinjiang," will be sped up. The state will press on with the project to connect Xinjiang power grid to the northwest China grid so as to form an energy channel as soon as possible to get Xinjiang' s redundant electric power transmitted to other parts of China to generate more funds for the development of Xinjiang. The government will build a group of solar power and solar-wind hybrid power plants in the farming and herding areas far from towns to improve the quality of life of the farmers and herdsmen there.

-- Improving energy conditions in urban areas. The Chinese government will upgrade the urban grids to raise the quality and reliability of power supply in urban areas. It guarantees urban power supply, especially household electricity consumption. The state accelerates natural gas development. Natural gas supply networks will be built or improved in cities so that more urban residents will gain access to natural gas. In northern cities, where the district heating system is applied, the government will develop co-generation units based on local conditions to improve the heating quality.