Tuesday, July 27, 2010

China seen quickening hydropower approvals

China seen quickening hydropower approvals - media

BEIJING | Tue Jul 27, 2010

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is likely to expedite approving hydropower
projects from the second half of this year, or face missing its
ambitious renewable energy target after cutbacks in the past five years,
local media said.

Huaneng and Huadian -- parents of Huaneng Power International and
Huadian Power -- have won environmental clearance for the dams they were
told last year to halt, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on

China has set a goal to utilize renewables to supply 15 percent of its
primary energy demand by 2020, and two-thirds of it will come from
hydropower, according to a plan mapped out by the National Energy
Administration, the paper said.

Under the plan, China, the world's No.2 energy consumer and the top
emitter of carbon dioxide, will need to have installed a total of 380
gigawatts of hydropower capacity by then, or nearly double the current

"It seems the central government's attitude toward hydropower has warmed
again. It's expected to speed up approving projects from the second half
of the year and in the next five years," an official with China Society
for Hydropower Engineering was quoted as saying.

Hydropowr is one crucial element in achieving China's target to cut
carbon dioxide emissions by 40-45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level.

Last week, Beijing gave the final greenlight to two hydropower projects
-- Jin'anqiao in Yunnan and Zangmushui in Tibet -- the first such
approvals in more than two years, the paper said.

Tougher environmental rules, massive burdens of migrant relocation as
well as the devastating earthquake in 2008 also contributed to curb
development of the hugely expensive projects that take 6-8 years to build.

At present, China has 197 GW of hydropower generation capacity, roughly
23 percent of the country's total. Coal fires about three quarters of
China's total electricity.

(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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