The market prospects for environmentally friendly or “green”power sources in China are very strong, according to a recent survey. An investigation conducted by China Consumers’ Association shows that nearly 95 per cent of respondents were willing to buy green power, electricity generated by wind, solar energy and other renewable energy sources, even at a higher rate.

Meanwhile, a survey of 1000 enterprises in Beijing found that when power rates are ignored, over half of the enterprises are willing to buy green power. When the rate of green power supply is 5 per cent higher than ordinary power supply, the proportion is 38.6 per cent; when the rate is 10 per cent higher, the proportion is 30 per cent.

According to experts, successful demonstrative projects will be pivotal to the expansion of green power market. Large cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, promise to be the largest market for green power, as people there earn more and there are a lot of multinationals and joint ventures.

Electricity consumption

China produced 125 GWh of electricity in August this year, up 6.53 per cent on the same month in 2000, according to statistics provided by the State Power Corporation.

The output of hydropower was 23.4 GWh in the month, up 3.19 per cent; that of thermal power, 99.9 GWh, up 6.85 per cent; that of nuclear power, 1.7 GWh, down 1.43 per cent.

Energy consumption targets

The Chinese government said it would strive to control the country’s annual growth rate of energy consumption at about 2.5 per cent over a long period and finally realise zero growth by 2040, said Zhang Guobao, vice-minister of the State Development Planning Commission, at a high-level forum on energy saving.

Zhang said China’s total consumption of primary energy is expected to reach 3.86bn tons of standard coal equivalent by 2040, tripling the current figure. Meanwhile, China will be able to supply at most 3.2bn tons of standard coal equivalent primary energy annually by the middle of this century.