China's Dams

China to build sixty new hydro projects in five years

(September 26, 2011) An article by China Energy News Net reveals that China’s next Five-Year Plan will put huge emphasis on hydropower, with plans to build major projects on most of the large rivers originating in the Tibetan plateau and to use 100% of eastern/central China’s hydropower potential.

Article by China Energy News Net, translated and re-posted by China Green News.

China’s 12th Five-Year Plan Will Start Construction on Over 60 Hydropower Projects

August 30, 2011

Construction will finish by the end of 2015 on eight large hydropower zones, each comprising several hydroelectric plants and each producing tens of millions of kilowatts. By then, the national production of hydroelectricity will reach 910 billion kilowatt-hours, according to a report on An authoritative source reveals that in the coming 12th Five-Year Plan of Renewable Energy Resources, hydropower will be the most prioritized source of renewable energy. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, China will begin construction on more than 60 key hydropower projects.

Previously market expectations had predicted six major hydropower zones, but the goal has now increased to eight. Analysts say that the process of authorizing hydropower projects has accelerated since the beginning of this year. This Five-Year Plan clearly emphasizes hydropower projects as a goal, and this emphasis will comprehensively speed up the activation procedure for such projects and bring about a turning point for the industry.

Construction to begin on over 60 hydropower projects in five years

The above mentioned source indicated that the next five years will see construction start on major hydropower zones on the Jinsha River (upper Yangtze), the Yalong River, the Dadu River, the Lancang River (upper Mekong), the Nu River, the upper main stem of the Yellow River, the Yarlung Tsangpo River (upper Brahmaputra) in Tibet and one other river.

It is expected that during the 12th Five-year Plan period, the country’s hydroelectric production will reach about 87.5 million kilowatts. Within the large hydropower zones, the plants operating on main stem rivers that will go into operation are Xiluodu, Xiangjiaba, Jinping, Nuozadu, etc. They are expected to produce about 52 million kilowatts. Sichuan, Yunnan and other provinces in China will see about 35.5 million kilowatts generated by their hydroelectric plants on tributary rivers. By the end of 2015, the net estimated installed capacity of these plants is expected to reach about 284 million kilowatts. If this estimation is realized, China will be exploiting 71% of its available hydroelectric power: 100% of that in eastern and central China and about 54% of the available hydroelectric power in west China.

The development of pumped-storage hydroelectric plants will accelerate. A few days ago, the Energy Department issued a statement requesting a moderate acceleration in the construction of pumped-storage hydroelectric plants.

According to Zhang Boting, the Assistant Secretary General of the Chinese Society of Hydroelectric Engineering, the 12th Five-Year Plan has adjusted the construction goal of pumped-storage hydroelectric plants from 50 to 80 million kilowatts.

Translator: Wang Wen
Proofreader: Madelyn Finucane

Further Reading:

China defends its dam projects on rivers from Tibet that worry neighbours who live downstream

A new era for Tibet’s rivers

Tibetan Plateau blog: Damming Tibet’s Yarlung Tsangpo-Brahmaputra and other South Asian rivers

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