“Starting from a weak basis, we have explored a path of healthy development for the country’s electricity industry,” Zhang Ping, director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said during a nuclear power development forum in Beijing.
China’s electricity capacity is growing at an incredible rate and has come a long way from the 1.85 million kilowatts running the country when it was founded in 1949. It took nearly 40 years for China to hit 100 million kilowatts in 1987, but then went on to hit 500 million in relatively quick fashion 18 years later in 2005.
While the growth is impressive, China admits that it still relies too heavily on highly polluting coal-fired power stations to generate its electricity. About 675 million kilowatts of the country’s 900 million kilowatts of power generation capacity are a result of such methods, but Zhang said that China will continue to transform the growth pattern of the electricity industry and further facilitate its restructuring by producing more clean energy.
Presently, China generates 10 million kilowatts of its power generation capacity through six nuclear power plants, but Zhang said that the country will raise its nuclear power capacity to 60 million kilowatts by 2020.
China is also the world’s leader in hydro power capacity, generating about 200 million kilowatts. The country maintains a further 22 million kilowatts of wind power capacity