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China to construct more hydropower dams in Tibet this year

China’s premier Li Keqiang announces number of hydropower dams will go into construction in BRIC country to meet 420GW targets by 2020

hydropower dam
China is looking to construct the hydropower dams in mountainous regions of Tibet

China is set to build more hydropower dams in Tibet this year to help reach 420GW targets by 2020, according to reports. China is looking to construct a number of hydropower dams in mountainous regions of Tibet to meet its clean energy target for the 2011 to 2015 five-year plan period, according to Reuters.

China’s premier Li Keqiang has said more hydropower dams will go into construction this year, as the BRIC country works hard to meet targets to raise hydro generation capacity to 420GW by 2020. This will up 50 per cent from the end of last year.

China, which is the world’s biggest hydropower producer, is on course to exceed a target to raise its hydro capacity by 70GW over the 2011 to 2015 period, but a slowdown in project approvals means it is behind on its longer-term goals. New capacity approved for construction over 2011 to 2013 accounted for less than a quarter of the amount originally scheduled in a five-year energy plan published two years ago, Reuters reports.

China has already built the world's biggest hydropower plant at the Three Gorges on the Yangtze River, which has 22.5GW capacity. The third biggest plant, the Xiluodu hydropower project in Sichuan province, will be completed this year. German engineering company Voith put into service its most powerful hydropower generator turbine at the Xiluodu hydropower plant in August 2013.

Current premier of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang, said, in his annual address to the National People's Congress last week, the BRIC country would start construction on a number of hydropower projects this year. This aims to help China meet the 2020 renewable energy target and reduce pollution.

China said in its five-year plan for 2011 to 2015 it would raise total capacity from 220GW to 290GW. Capacity reached 280GW by the end of last year, which is up 12.3 per cent from 2012, according to official data. Hydropower accounted for about 22 per cent of China's total power capacity at the end of 2013.

Grace Mang, china Program director with advocacy group International Rivers, told Reuters: "Looking at the major hydropower projects in the pipeline including those on the Yarlong, Dadu and Jinsha (rivers), which could complete construction by 2015, China would meet and exceed its target by as much as 5GW to 10 GW.”