China Spends on Alternative Energy


Reuters resports that a Chinese state-owned energy firm plans to invest at least $2.48 billion over the next five years in biomass, garbage treatment and other alternative energy projects.

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 said.

The firm had budgeted about $1.1 billion 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 $1.1 billion 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.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.