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Jiangxi Province Reveals Renewables Focused 12th Five Year Energy Plan

The government of China’s Jiangxi Province has just released the 12th Five-Year New Energy Development Plan spanning 2011 to 2015. It reveals that the province plans to focus on the development of non-fossil energy sources including hydraulic, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal.

Jiangxi province is home to rich resources 6.85 GW of hydropower reserves, accounting for approx 1% of China’s total, including 5.78 GW of exploitable resources which can generate 19.8 billion kWh of electricity; equivalent to 6.92 million tons of standard coal per year.

The province also has 60 GW of wind power reserves, including 3.1 GW of exploitable resources which can generate 6.2 billion kWh of electricity, which is equivalent to 1.86 million tons of standard coal per year.

The average solar radiation is 1,238 kWh per square meter per year which, if fully utilized, can contribute power equivalent to 25.3 billion tons of standard coal. Abundant biomass energy sources, can also generate an electricity equivalent to 14 million tons of standard coal per year. Additionally, more than 100 hot springs with annual thermal water supply reaching 21.8 million cubic meters.

Jiangxi’s new energy sector experienced rapid development during the 11th five-year period (2006-2010). As of the end of 2010, Jiangxi’s new energy utilization reached 3.65 million tons of standard coal, making up 5.7% of the province’s total energy consumption. However, the sector, at its early stage of development, is still facing some challenges such as technical restrictions, lack of innovation and insufficient subsidy support from the government.

Coal accounts for approx 70% of Jiangxi’s energy mix, putting great pressure on the ecological environment, and, with nearly two-thirds of the coal consumed by the province coming from other parts of China, energy costs are quite high. As a result, the need for the province to accelerate the development of its new energy sector has become a priority, as part of the plan to optimize the energy structure and protect the environment while contributing to the province’s economic and social sustainability.

By 2015, the province aims to boost its installed hydropower capacity to 4.97 GW. By leveraging its resources in the central part of the province, Jiangxi plans to build a number of wind farms in a move to increase its installed wind power capacity to more than 1 GW by 2015.

Furthermore, Jiangxi will aggressively propel solar thermal applications by popularizing building-integrated photovoltaics and central solar heating systems in urban areas while promoting solar water heaters in rural areas. By 2015, the province’s installed PV capacity is expected to reach more than 0.2 GW.

The province will also diversify its biomass energy applications by adding stalks, household trash, marsh gas and non-food biofuels to the biomass inputs, in an effort to bring its biomass energy utilization to 2.67 million tons of standard coal by 2015.

Finally, Jiangxi will accelerate the development and utilization of geothermal energy by initially constructing several demonstration projects in Nanchang, Shangrao and Ji’an. By 2015, the area allocated by the province for the building of shallow geothermal energy resources is expected to reach 2 million square meters.

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