China reinforces clean energy message

Already the world’s biggest investor in renewable power generation, China has emphasised that focus with a renewed statement of plans to boost construction of wind and solar power plants.

The Chinese central government website quoted the country’s premier, Li Keqiang (pictured), as targeting those two clean energy sources as well as mentioning specific nuclear power projects in eastern coastal areas. The statement also referred to the construction of “reasonable hydropower projects.”
Li Keqiang
Li declared war on smog in a speech last month, vowing to reduce coal-fired power generation. Beijing’s air quality failed to meet government standards 52 per cent of the time last year, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said in March.

China will begin building ultra-high voltage and regular grids to deliver power from the country’s west to the east, Li said in the statement, underscoring a previous plan. Electricity power system reform will be speeded up and trade between power suppliers and users will be promoted, the statement added.

Bloomberg reports that China’s State Energy Commission also met in Beijing to review energy forecasts and discuss safety considerations regarding nuclear power. According to a statement released on the commission’s website on Sunday, it now intends to expedite the approval process for new reactors in China.

In 2013, China approved the construction of just two new nuclear reactors, with a combined generating capacity of 2.1 GW. This year, it intends to green-light another 8.6 GW of nuclear energy, according to an article in Monday’s state-run China Daily newspaper.

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