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China with World’s Largest Hydro Power Capacity aims to Double it by 2020

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China has the world’s largest hydro power capacity at 200 GW and it plans to double the capacity by 2020.China is mostly dependent on Coal Power and Hydro Power to meet the electricity demand from its fast growing economy.China has the world’s second largest electricity capacity at 850-900 GW second only to USA at ~1000 GW.This will be soon be overtaken as China continues to grow at 8-10% and its electricity per capita is still much below developed world standards.China is already the world’s biggest consumer of Energy and emitter of Greenhouse Gases.Despite rapidly investing in Nuclear and Renewable Energy,China’s voracious demand has failed to stop the alarming growth of Fossil Fuel Energy.It already consumes 3 Billion Tons of Coal per year and is already importing around 180 million tons per year.

Both from the viewpoint of Global Warming and containing the usage of limited Fossil Fuel resources,China has to redouble its efforts in the Clean Energy area.China had recently stopped giving permit for huge hydel projects after the gargantuan 3 Gorges Dam had led to protests over its environmental impacts and threat of earthquakes.However with China failing to meet targets of reducing the Energy Intensity of its GDP by  40-45% by 2020,the government has started giving permits for large hydro once again.China’s leading governing council NDRC has approved 2.4-GW Guan’di hydropower station and the 600-megawatt Tongzilin hydropower project.Note Large Hydro Projects have a long gestation period of 5-6 years and to meet its target of 380 GW by 2020,China has to approve and initiate the projects soon.

China approves more hydropower amid clean energy push – Reuters

The country’s total hydropower capacity reached 200 GW in August and top energy official Zhang Guobao said capacity had to reach 380 GW by 2020 if the country was to meet its clean energy and emissions targets.

He said China needed to start building 120 GW of hydropower projects in the six years through 2015 given the longer construction time needed compared with coal-fired plants

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Monday in reports on its website ( that it had approved the construction of the 2.6-gigwatt (GW) Changheba hydropower project in Sichuan province this month.

The approvals come after the NDRC agreed in late October for China Three Gorges Power Corp (CTGPC) to proceed with early-stage studies for the 8.7-GW Wudongde and 14-GW Baihetan hydropower projects.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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