December 28, 2005

China firm to spend $2.5 bln on renewable power

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese state-owned energy firm plans
to invest at least 20 billion yuan ($2.48 billion) over the
next five years in biomass, garbage treatment and other
alternative energy projects, state media said on Wednesday.

China Energy Conservation Investment Corp. made the plans
to take advantage of a new law promoting renewable energy,
which sets tariffs in favor of non-fossil energy such as wind,
water and solar power and is due to take effect in January.

"We see tremendous business opportunities from the new
law," the China Daily quoted Wang Yi, a senior company
official, as saying.

Coal provides some 70 percent of electricity in China, the
world's second-largest energy consumer and producer of
greenhouse gases.

The state-owned company has started building two wind farms
and a new facility that would harness steam generated from
garbage and sewage treatment to produce power, the newspaper

The firm had budgeted 9 billion yuan to build the
garbage-powered plant underway in eastern China and 10 others
like it in other parts of the country over the next five years,
Wang said.

Another 9 billion yuan would go toward constructing up to
30 biomass energy projects in major agricultural provinces,
which use organic or woody material such as straw to make fuel
or generate power.

China has set a goal of getting 15 percent of its energy
from renewable sources by 2020, though it has acknowledged that
coal will remain its primary source of electricity for decades
to come.