A healthy economic development can not be realized without strong and clean energy supplies. In the 13th five-year plan, China's top planners raised the idea of energy revolution to fuel the country's growth. What does it mean?
Deepening energy revolution. What does that imply? First of all, let's take a look at China's energy consumption structure. Currently, coal makes up two-thirds of total energy consumption. That's more than twice the global average. The high dependence of coal makes it a major contributor to smog.
It is emphasized in the 13th five-year plan to make coal a less important source in China's energy supplies. Different regions will tackle the problem with various guidances. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, or eastern China in general, will cut coal consumption in coming years. The underdeveloped central and western region will take measures to control growing demand. By 2020, China's dependence of coal will be reduced from 64% to below 62% in primary energy source.
To replace coal, the plan is looking to clean energy. For example, natural gas accounts for a quarter in global energy consumption, but in China that's only 5 percent. China will accelerate production and increase imports of natural gas. Yunan province alone will build 8 pipelines to transport natural gas. Consumption will be raised to 3.2 to 4 billion cubic meters.
China will increase its hydropower capacity by 60 million kilo watts, or 2.7 times the size of Three Gorges Dam. Nuclear power plants will also play a bigger role in feeding China's energy demand. New plants with a total capacity of 30 million kilo watts are under construction in the coastal areas, that's more than the country's current operational capacity. Adding wind and solar power, by 2020, non-fuel energy will climb to 15 percent in primary energy consumption.
Not only clean but also smart. The 13th five-year plan calls for a smart energy system. A grid will coordinate production, consumption, storage and transportation. For example, a smart microgrid will allow residences to sell the excessive energy they produce from rooftop solar panels or wind power generators to others in need.