China Energy Industry

China nomads on energy’s cutting edge

Christian Science Monitor
August 31, 2006

China seeks to obtain 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. However, more than a third of the pledge is to be met by small dams in environmentally sensitive regions, a Western experts notes.

Sorbastow, China: … Solar energy plays a significant role in Beijing’s renewables strategy, and the government will continue to electrify remote areas, with portable solar programs already launched in Yunnan and Qinghai provinces. It also plans to develop solar-powered water heaters, intended to replace 97 million tons of carbon dioxide output by 2020, according to Douglas Ogden, director of the China Sustainable Energy Program. Mr. Ogden, who consults for Beijing on energy strategy, says China’s 15 percent renewables goal is laudable. But he wonders whether the government’s methods are appropriate. More than a third of the pledge will be met by small dams in environmentally-sensitive regions of the country. Further, he says, China has neglected the easy payoff of updating antiquated power plants and ancient boilers. “All of the industries, they’re using old 1950s Soviet-era stuff,” Ogden says. “They waste 12 times the amount of coal that would be burned with modern technology.”

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