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China doubles down on reform and consumption as future drivers in the wake of declining growth
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UPDATED: April 22, 2014
China Eyes New Energy Projects for Greener Development

China will launch a number of major projects to restructure its energy layout and achieve a greener development with cleaner energy.

China will push forward reform in energy production and consumption, and make energy use greener, said Premier Li Keqiang at the first meeting of the incumbent National Energy Commission on Friday, according to a press release issued on Sunday.

China will embark on new nuclear power plants equipped with state-of-the-art safety measures on the eastern coast at a proper time, said Li.

Other projects will mainly include construction of hydropower stations, wind and solar power stations and ultra-high-voltage transmission lines to send power from the west to the east.

China saw rapid nuclear power growth in recent years, but became cautious about the approval of new nuke programs after Japan's Fukushima nuclear fallout in 2011.

"These energy projects can ensure stable economic growth and increase China's capability to safeguard energy security," said Li, adding that they can help adjust the country's energy structure as well.

To make energy greener, Li said China will try to boost the development of electric cars and upgrade coal burning power generators that fail to meet emission cut requirements.

"China will wage a war against smog weather and step up ecological protection measures by further saving energy and cutting emissions," said Li.

To diversify energy sources, China will work on the development of unconventional oil and gas, including shale gas, shale oil, coalbed methane and tight gas.

Chinese energy giants have long been eyeing the unconventional oil and gas and have made successful drilling mainly in southwest China.

In addition, the country will open up energy exploitation and encourage different kinds of investors to compete fairly in the sector.

China's energy sector was largely dominated by state-owned enterprises (SOEs), especially in exploration.

Sinopec, one of China's three oil giants, proposed in February to open up its marketing arm to social and private investors, marking a major step for an SOE to move toward mixed-ownership in the energy sector.

At the meeting, Li also said China will work to export advanced energy technology and equipments to overseas markets.

China is one of the world's largest energy consumers and a considerable part of its energy demands relies on imports.

Headed by Li, the incumbent National Energy Commission, including more than ten related authorities, aims to step up strategic policy-making and coordination on major energy issues.

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2014)

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