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Developing cleaner power should be a priority

NEW power sources should be developed as a key strategy to address China's energy shortages and environmental problems, Zhang Guobao, head of the National Energy Administration, said yesterday.

Developing new sources of energy has become a priority for many countries trying to combat climate change, according to Zhang.

He said China should closely follow global trends in this area by increasing research and development in new energy technology and investing more in the industry.

"If we fail to address the development of new energy at the highest levels, we will find ourselves falling behind others within 10 years," said Zhang, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

He was supported at the ongoing annual meeting of the top political advisory body by Ouyang Minggao, a Tsinghua University professor, who advocated the use of new energy vehicles.

"The promotion of energy- efficient and new-energy vehicles is a necessary step in the country's development and in the revival of the auto industry," Ouyang said.

Coal makes up about 70 percent of China's total energy consumption, 40 percent higher than the world average, and China wants to develop alternative energy sources to reduce that reliance as well as pollution.

Premier Wen Jiabao said in the government work report he delivered last Thursday that the country will "energetically develop a circular economy and clean energy."

China would promote research and development into new energy technology and develop clean energy such as nuclear, wind and solar power this year, according to Wen's report.

Yang Qi, honorary president of the Nuclear Power Institute of China and a CPPCC National Committee member, urged the country to develop new technologies to conserve energy and reduce emissions.

He said China was under pressure to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions as it initiated more projects under the huge 4-trillion-yuan (US$585 billion) stimulus plan.

According to Premier Wen's government work report, the country's energy consumption per unit of GDP fell by 4.59 percent last year from the previous year and sulfur dioxide emissions dropped by 5.95 percent.

Over the past three years total energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped by 10.08 percent and sulfur dioxide emissions dropped by 8.95 percent, according to the premier.


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