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China Bets Heavily on Nuclear, Wind Power

Apr 8, 2009 - SinoCast Daily Business Beat

BEIJING - China, one of the biggest power consumers worldwide, has paid much attention to clean energy, and particularly, it has decided to greatly boost nuclear and wind power generation.

This year, the Chinese government will invest CNY 580 billion in the electric power industry, and accelerate the construction of new energy projects, such as wind and nuclear power generation projects.

In 2010, the country's thermal power plants will account for 68 percent of its total installed capacity, and its hydro, nuclear, wind, and solar power stations will respectively contribute 23, 2, and 7 percent.

In 2020, the installed thermal, hydro, nuclear, wind, and solar power generation capacity will separately make up 50, 30, 8, and 12 percent of the total.

The country should strive to put an installed nuclear power generation capacity of 70 million kilowatts into operation in 2020, with another 30 million kilowatts under construction, suggested the National Energy Administration of China.

Earlier, the Chinese government has come up with a medium- and long-term plan for the development of nuclear power generation, aiming to install 40 million kilowatts with 18 million kilowatts more under construction in 2020. The administration stressed that the construction of nuclear power stations should be sped up these days.

In the three years ahead, eight such stations, with 16 generation units, will be built, driving up the overall nuclear power generation capacity by over 10 million kilowatts.

In 2020, China's installed nuclear power generation capacity will make up more than 5 percent of over 1.2 billion kilowatts, the country's total, earlier reports said.

China's installed wind power generation capacity will outnumber 10 million kilowatts in 2010 with a yearly output of 21 billion kilowatt-hours.

China boasts sufficient wind energy. The latest two surveys show different results, its exploitable wind reserve stood separately at 3.226 billion and 4.35 billion kilowatts and technologically exploitable wind reserve reached 253 million and 297 million kilowatts.

In recent years, the country has witnessed a rapid growth in the wind power generation industry. By the end of 2008, the industry installed an approximate capacity of 8.94 million kilowatts and generated 12.8 billion kilowatt-hours in total, hiking 111.48 and 126.79 percent respectively from a year earlier.

Last year, the investment in nuclear and wind power infrastructure separately surge 71.85 and 88.10 percent, but that in thermal power infrastructure dropped 21.99 percent.

In total, the country injected CNY 576.3 billion into electric infrastructure, climbing up 1.52 percent year on year, according to the China Electricity Council (CEC).

(USD 1 = CNY 6.86)