Date
19 September 2017
China will step up approvals for nuclear projects in a bid to promote greater use of clean energy. Photo: Bloomberg
China will step up approvals for nuclear projects in a bid to promote greater use of clean energy. Photo: Bloomberg

The Big Picture: NUCLEAR PLANTS

With growing energy needs and an urgent mission to promote greater use of cleaner fuels, China is focusing again on construction of nuclear power plants, after taking a pause earlier in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.   

Authorities will continue to build nuclear power plants in the nation’s eastern areas, with approvals to be speeded up for new reactors, mainland media reported.

State news agency Xinhua quoted Premier Li Keqiang as saying Friday that the government will embark on new nuclear power plants equipped with state-of-the-art safety measures.

About 8.6 gigawatts of new nuclear capacity is expected to come online this year, and Beijing plans to scale up the total installed capacity to 58 GW by 2020, according to some reports.

As part of the overall energy sector plan, work has begun on several key projects, Li was quoted as saying at a National Energy Commission meeting.

The projects include several ultra-high-voltage (UHV) electricity transmission lines for the West-East Electricity Transfer Project, Caijing.com quoted Li as saying.

A State Grid Corp official has said earlier that construction of seven out of 27 planned UHV power transmission lines will begin this year, with authorities aiming to cut coal consumption by 160 million tons every year.

Hydropower projects will be gradually pushed forward, with Li promising to handle environmental protection and resettlement issues properly.

The premier also called for acceleration of construction of wind energy and solar power base projects and the industrialization of electric vehicles.

Market should play a decisive role in distribution of power resources in order to provide economic and better power services, Li said, adding that the government will encourage direct transaction of electricity.

“These energy projects can ensure stable economic growth and increase China’s ability to safeguard energy security,” the premier was quoted as saying.

Li added that China will try to boost the development of electric cars and upgrade coal burning power generators that fail to meet emission cut requirements.

–Contact HKEJ at [email protected]

MY/JP/RC

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