Category: China Energy Industry

Chinese environmentalist on trial for protecting the environment

(October 18, 2010) A former forestry official-turned environmental activist is on trial in China for publishing a book about a controversial coal power plant without state permission. He stands accused, under China’s surreal justice system, of “conducting illegal business.”

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No water, no power: is there enough water to fuel China’s power expansion?

(October 16, 2012) A new report by Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) warns that water shortages in China could undermine power production by water-intensive thermal generators and hydro dams, putting economic growth at risk, especially in the metals and mining, utilities, and manufacturing sectors. Allocating water resources by decree in China’s planned economy is unlikely to work, predicts HSBC’s strategist Wai-Shin Chan. Investors should beware and attempt to estimate the effect of looming shortages on the life of their assets: without water security, investors could be left stranded.

Big, complicated, hard to manage

(September 1, 2012) The staggering costs of China’s Three Gorges Dam—the displacement of 1.7 million and counting, and a price tag six-times the original estimate—are well known. But the enormous project’s complicated operational demands are largely unknown, and they promise to get more vexing as more dams are built upstream. Power magazine looks at the complexities of delivering power from such large-scale hydropower plants trans-region, trans-province, and trans-basin and the pressing need for peak regulation, frequency regulation, and emergency reserves for hydropower plants.

Dam madness

(July 4, 2012) As the fierce struggle between China’s hydropower industry and environmental conservationists rages anew, what has become clear in the meanwhile: the country’s rivers cannot sustain the current pace of development.

Things you may not know about the history of the Three Gorges Dam Project

(February 8, 2012) Admissions of trouble at Three Gorges Dam by China’s powerful State Council last spring, left many wondering how the behemoth dam ever got off the drawing board. Now, in a first, behind the scenes, account of raw power politics, Guo Yushan from China’s Transition Institute describes how Three Gorges critics were silenced, and China’s power mandarins maneuvered, to build the world’s largest and most troubled dam. Read this translation by Probe International of the article that went viral on China’s Internet.

Chinadialogue: Talking about the Yarlung Zangbo

(November 17, 2011) The Yarlung Zangbo, or Brahmaputra, is a major international river passing through China, India and Bangladesh. Yet the countries share very little information on the river’s flow, or on their plans to build dams on it. chinadialogue reports on a workshop that brought together scientists and journalists from across the borders, and discusses the real risks of huge dams on the river.

Chinese hydropower profits dry up

(October 20, 2011) Recent reports show that China’s hydropower output fell over the past year, as drought struck the nation and major rivers declined in flow. The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze were so badly affected that the Three Gorges Dam was ordered to release more water. This article reveals that the drought cut into power companies’ profits, too.

China’s hydropower output drops

(October 20, 2011) Two recent reports show that China’s hydropower output has fallen drastically over the past year, as decreased runoff from major rivers has led to falling reservoir levels in China’s major dams. The Bureau of Statistics stated that hydropower output was one-fifth lower than last September, while the National Development and Reform Commission measured a decrease of 24.5% – a loss of nearly a quarter.

A litany of troubles at Three Gorges Dam

To most observers, Chinese officialdom has supported the Three Gorges Dam without fail. But a closer look reveals growing worries about the dam which has become a symbol of all that is wrong with China’s rise. Here we present Chinese officials’ admissions of problems at Three Gorges, from the sensational mea culpas of senior officials to the subtly expressed worries of eminent scientists.

Shale gas in China

(September 28, 2011) Shale gas is a burgeoning (if controversial) industry in the United States, but in China, which may have reserves to rival the U.S., development is only beginning. Liu Zhi, of Beijing’s Transition Institute, discusses the potential and the problems of China’s shale gas industry.