The State Development Planning Commission of China recently released its plan for the development of energy in the country in which it acknowledges that new energy resources will have to be developed and that more of the country’s electricity will come from renewable sources over the next five years.

According to the plan, China will import more advanced overseas technologies to establish a viable and localized industry for the production of wind power generating units.

By the year 2005, the proportion of coal in the consumption of primary energy is expected to drop by 3.88 per cent from that of the year 2000 and cleaner energy like natural gas and hydroelectric power will increase by 5.6 per cent, according to the plan. It forecasts that in the next five years, China will have an average annual growth rate of 13.19 per cent in the production of natural gas, 8.38 per cent in that of hydropower and 29.67 per cent in nuclear power.

The State Development Planning Commission will soon establish a preferential price for new energy, and will adopt a quota system for renewable sources of energy. China will step up its efforts to establish an oil and natural gas production base in the western part of the country, and start a project to transport oil and natural gas from the west to the east.

To this end, more foreign capital will be used and foreign co-operation will be sought. China will also build overseas oil-gas supply bases, and quicken the pace in establishing a national oil and natural gas reserve system. The plan says China will establish model projects to promote the application of advanced technologies to clean coal and coal-bed methane production, while building 40 coal cleaning plants with a total production capacity of 100 million tons per year.

The nation’s total installed power generating capacity will reach 370 GW by 2005, and the power output will grow to 1.73 trillion kWh.

The commission expects power grids in both urban and rural areas will be basically transformed in the five years. It expects the price of electricity will be lower and different power producers will have to compete to supply electricity to customers.