China sets 2012 hydro targets for rural areas
June 7, 2012
Shanghai. June 7. INTERFAX-CHINA - China plans to add three gigawatts
(GW) of small-scale hydropower plants in rural areas by the end of the
year, state media Technology and Science Daily reported Wednesday.
As of the end of 2011, there were some 45,151 hydropower projects with
62 GW of installed capacity operating in China's rural areas, which
generated 175.7 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity last year, the
Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) was quoted as saying in the report.
Roughly half of China's small-scale installed hydro capacity is located
in Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangdong and Fujian provinces, said the ministry.
The MWR stressed the importance of hydropower for China's future energy
portfolio at the National Rural Hydropower Workshop in Beijing last
month. As the country diversifies its energy mix in an attempt to reduce
consumption of fossil fuels, small-scale hydro projects in rural areas
will become an evermore important source of electricity, said the ministry.
Small-scale hydropower projects ï¿½ typically smaller than 10 megawatts
(MW) ï¿½ are attractive because they are relatively inexpensive and cause
less environmental damage than large-scale facilities such as the Three
Gorges Dam, industry expert Liu Liye told Interfax today.
Liu noted that water resources in rural areas of west and northeast
China remain largely unexploited and offer potential for future
expansion in coming years.
China's 230 GW of installed hydropower capacity make it the world's
largest hydroelectric power user, according to statistics released by
the National Energy Administration in April.
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