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The People's Republic of China has abundant conventional as well as renewable energy resources. During the 33 years since liberation, the energy production has increased some 25 times and the country is now self-sufficient for all the 800 million tce (ton coal equivalent) energy demands, including the biomass consumed as fuel in the vast rural region. However, due to the enormous population, the energy consumption per capita is rather low, around some 0.8 tce/capita including the noncommercial energy sources. The PRC is now making great efforts to increase the energy supplies to meet the tremendous energy demands in the course of "Four Modernizations."
The renewables constitute a considerable portion of China's energy supply. The potential hydraulic resources amount to 680 Gw, of which about 430 Gw is exploitable. Mini-hydro stations constitute the main supply for the electrification in rural regions. Agriculture waste provides about 33% of the rural energy supply, 28% comes from firewood, and 10% from coal from local small mines. Due to the shortage of domestic fuel in some regions, excessive burning of agriculture wastes and deforestation results, threatening the future of agriculture production. Therefore, policies are being adopted to develop biogas as well as other renewables in order to improve the ecological equilibrium in rural regions.
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