Full Text: China's Energy Policy 2012

IV. Vigorously Developing New and Renewable Energy

Vigorously developing new and renewable energy is a key strategic measure for promoting the multiple and clean development of energy, and fostering emerging industries of strategic importance. It is also an urgent need in the protection of the environment, response to climate change and achievement of sustainable development. Through unswerving efforts in developing new and renewable energy sources, China endeavors to increase the shares of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption and installed generating capacity to 11.4 percent and 30 percent, respectively, by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan.

-- Actively developing hydropower. China boasts abundant hydropower resources. Its technically exploitable hydropower resources are equal to 542 million kw, putting the country first in the world. Calculated according to power generation, less than 30 percent of China's hydropower resources are currently utilized, leaving plenty of room for development in this regard. In order to attain the goal of increasing non-fossil energy consumption to 15 percent of the total energy consumption by 2020, more than half will come from hydropower development. On the condition that the ecological environment is protected and resettlements of local people affected are properly handled, China will energetically develop hydropower. By integrating hydropower development with promotion of local employment and economic development, the Chinese government aims to "develop local resources, stimulate local economic development, improve the local environment and benefit local people." The country strives to improve its resettlement policies regarding local people affected by hydropower projects, and perfect the benefit-sharing mechanism. China will strengthen ecological-protection and environmental-impact assessment, strictly implement measures to protect the environment of existing hydropower stations, and improve the comprehensive utilization level and eco-environmental benefits of water resources. In accordance with rational river basin planning for hydropower development, China will speed up the construction of large hydropower stations on key rivers, develop medium- and small-sized hydropower stations based on local conditions, and construct pumped-storage power stations in appropriate circumstances. The country's installed hydropower generating capacity is expected to reach 290 million kw by 2015.

-- Developing nuclear power in a safe and highly efficient way. As nuclear power is a high-quality, clean and efficient modern energy source, its development is of great significance for optimizing the nation's energy structure and ensuring national energy security. At present, nuclear power only accounts for 1.8 percent of China's total power output, far below the world average, which is 14 percent. Nuclear safety is essential for nuclear power development. Since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, China has launched comprehensive safety inspections at all nuclear power plants. The inspection results show that nuclear security is guaranteed in China. Over the past 20 years, Chinese nuclear power units in operation have never had accidents at and above Level 2, with major operating parameters being better than the world's average and some indices even reaching the leading or advanced world level. Upholding a scientific and rational concept of nuclear security, China implements the principle of "safety first" in the whole process of nuclear power station planning, site selection, R&D, design, construction, operation and decommissioning. It has established and improved a legal system on nuclear power, improved and optimized the safety management mechanism of nuclear power, set a high entry threshold in this regard, and clarified safety responsibility. It has improved the supervision system of nuclear power by strengthening safety supervision and inspection, and radiation environment supervision and management at nuclear power plants in operation and under construction. An emergency mechanism for nuclear accidents has been established and improved to enhance the country's emergency response capability. China will invest more in nuclear power technological innovations, promote application of advanced technology, improve the equipment level, and attach great importance to personnel training. China's installed capacity of nuclear power is expected to reach 40 million kw by 2015.

-- Effectively developing wind power. As a non-water renewable energy, wind power is currently the most appropriate energy source for large-scale development and market-driven utilization. China's wind power industry is the fastest-growing in the world. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, China will stress both intensive and distributed exploitation, and optimize the development layout of wind power. It will push forward wind power construction in an orderly way in the northwestern, northern and northeastern regions, which boast abundant wind energy, and speed up the development and utilization of distributed resources. It will steadily develop offshore wind farms, and improve the standards for wind-power equipment and the supervision system of this industry. China will encourage wind-power equipment manufacturers to expedite R&D of key technologies, so as to accelerate the technological upgrading of this industry. By means of speeding up grid construction, increasing the grid's dispatch level, improving the performance of wind-power equipment, and strengthening wind-power prediction and forecast, China aims to improve its power grids' wind-power integration ability. The installed generating capacity of wind power is expected to reach 100 million kw by the end of 2015, with 500 kw of generating capacity coming from offshore wind farms.

-- Actively making use of solar energy. China is rich in solar energy, which boasts immense room for development and has a promising future. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, China will promote diverse patterns of solar-power development by integrating intensive exploitation with distributed utilization. It will construct large on-grid photovoltaic power stations and solar power generation projects in Qinghai and Gansu provinces, and the Xinjiang Uygur and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions, which boast abundant solar energy and scattered plots of unutilized land, for the purpose of increasing local supplies of electricity. It will encourage the central and eastern regions to construct distributed photovoltaic power generation systems linked to local buildings. Intensified efforts will be made to popularize solar water heaters, and promote the development of solar central hot-water supply, solar heating and cooling, and medium- and high-temperature industrial applications of solar energy. It will spread solar water heaters, solar cookers and solar houses in the countryside, border areas, and small cities and towns. China's installed generating capacity of solar energy is expected to exceed 21 million kw by 2015, with a total solar heat collection area of 400 million sq m.

-- Developing and utilizing biomass energy and other types of renewable energy. China will develop biomass energy and other renewable energy resources under the principle of "orderly development based on local conditions and comprehensive utilization with all factors taken into consideration." It will promote power generation using crop stalks, grain-processing residues and bagasse as fuels in major producing areas of grain and cotton; and carefully develop woody biomass power generation in forest-covered areas. Attention will be given to the promotion of electricity generation by means of waste incineration and landfill gas in urban areas. The country will also speed up the construction of biomass gas, including methane, supply systems in eligible regions, and build production bases of biomass molding fuel in accordance with local conditions. Efforts will also be made to develop biodiesel and industrial cellulosic ethanol. China will spread the technology of efficiently using geothermal energy on the condition that underground water is protected. It will reinforce the tracking and R&D of electricity generation technologies by using tidal energy, wave energy and hot dry rocks.

-- Promoting distributed utilization of clean energy. China will energetically develop distributed energy resources on the principle of "giving priority to local supply, feeding the surplus into the grid, development based on local conditions, and advancing in an orderly way." It will accelerate the construction of distributed energy systems (DES) for natural gas at energy load centers. It will energetically spread the technology of distributed renewable energy, especially in high energy-consumption centers, including cities and industrial parks. It will carry out distributed renewable energy construction in rural areas, forest regions and islands in accordance with local conditions. Efforts will be made to set standards for distributed energy, and improve the formation mechanism and polices for on-grid price. Hard work will be done to realize direct supply, and non-discriminatory and barrier-free connection to the grid of power generated in the distributed manner. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, China will construct about 1,000 projects of natural gas DES, and ten distributed energy demonstration areas with various typical characteristics.

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