China to increase proportion of nuclear power production

BEIJING, CHINA - China is looking to reduce its carbon emissions, and expanding the nuclear generation base is an integral part of reaching that goal.

According to Zhang Guobao, vice director of China's National Development and Reform Commission and Director of the National Energy Administration, China will take measures to reduce carbon emission and energy consumption, including strongly increasing the proportion of nuclear power in its energy structure; accelerating the development of new energies such as wind power; promoting the implementing of desulfurization devices in all thermal power plants; and eliminating inefficient units.

Zhang was speaking at a news conference in Beijing on September 25, regarding China's energy development in the past 60 years.

In the recent G-20 meeting held in the United States, Chinese President Hu Jintao promised that China will increase the proportion of non-fossil energy in primary energy consumption to 15%, add an additional 40 million hectares of forest area to increase carbon collection, and largely reduce the energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 2020. All departments of the Chinese government will work hard to the realization of this promise, said Zhang.

China currently has an installed nuclear power capacity of 9.08 gigawatts (GW), less than 2% of the total installed power capacity, or about 0.

6% of the total primary energy consumption. According to the previous planning, China will expand its installed capacity of nuclear power to 40 GW, or about 4% of the total installed power capacity by 2020. Although Zhang didn't disclose the exact figure for the new objective, insiders believe that the objective for installed capacity of nuclear power will be expanded to about 70 GW in 2020.

However, the coal-dominated Chinese energy structure will remain for a long time, said Zhang. Coal-fired power presently accounts for about 67% of the total power consumption in China, the largest energy producer in the world. China is actively promoting the application of clean-coal burning technology. So far, about 60% of thermal power plants in China have been furnished with desulfurization devices, and all power plants will be furnished with flue gas desulfurization devices in the future.

China also will enhance the elimination of inefficient old units. China has terminated more than 54 GW of old, inefficient thermal power units, and the coal consumption per kilowatt-hour has been reduced from more than 400 grams to about 300 grams.


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