China Energy Industry

Hydro-power to the fore

South China Morning Post
June 6, 2006

Beijing aims to double the mainland’s hydro-power generating capacity in the next 15 years to solve the power shortage in the industrialised eastern part of the country. The State Power Co plans to raise the capacity to 150 million kilowatts by 2015, making the mainland the world’s largest hydro-power generating country. The company plans to develop a nationwide hydro-power supply network during the period, building on the Three Gorges’ hydro-power projects. It aims to link the main power grids across the country. The company will tap the western part’s hydro-power resources, which account for 75 per cent of the mainland total, compared with the eastern part’s 7 per cent. At present, the hydro-power resources utilisation rate in the industrialised eastern part is 50 per cent and that in the underdeveloped west is 8 per cent. The company aims to increase the overall utilisation rate to 40 per cent by 2015 from the present 17 per cent. The potential hydro-power generation capacity is estimated at 378.5 million KW. Hydro-power accounts for 9.7 per cent of mainland annual power-generation capacity, well below that of other developing countries such as Brazil, Egypt and India.

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