China Tag

Last month The World Bank has released a report titled “China 2030: Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High Income Society.” Within are policy recommendations for the sustained economic growth of one of the world’s most dynamic nations. According to the World Bank—an international financial institution focused on developing countries—green development is key to China’s continued success with a greater role for the utilization of renewable energy.

Biomass has been recognized by the Chinese government as a viable source of energy, particularly in rural areas. Although the world’s second largest economy, around 7 million of China’s residents are without electricity. In rural areas, inefficient crop residues and firewood still account for about 70 percent of the energy supply. In addition to meeting the energy needs of the countryside, China must still meet growing demand in its expanding cities which greatly contributed to the doubling of China's energy consumption in the last decade.

Ernst & Young, an international professional services company, showed striking gains made by developing countries in its most recent “Renewable energy country attractiveness indices.” According to the report, “Western Europe and the US markets have been hit by a perfect storm of reduced government incentives, restricted access to capital in increased competition from abroad.” Specifically singled out as “[sharing] an acute need for more renewable power” were Argentina, Hungary, Israel, Tunisia and Ukraine.

In only five years, China has come a long way in generating power from biomass energy sources. The country’s first biomass power plant came online only in December, 2006—the RMB 340 million Shanxian plant in China’s Shandong province. Since then dozens of other facilities have been commissioned. Biomass materials, particularly from agricultural wastes, are abundant as farmers are often able to receive higher prices for the residuals of their harvest at these new power plants than they are for the crops themselves. Although profit margins at these biomass plants remain slim, rising environmental concerns—as well as a nationwide push toward the application of more advanced technology—have prompted government subsidies to expand China’s power base.

China is, or will soon become, the world’s largest consumer of energy. As the nation’s living standards rise with its expanding economy, China’s energy consumption will continue to multiply. Although this energy is overwhelmingly produced with coal, the Chinese government has taken aggressive actions to diversify its power supply using nuclear, hydro, wind, solar means and other clear energy, such as wood pellets production. For more information of wood pellet and pellet production, you can read this pdf guide. Alongside these alternative energy sources, biomass fuel too looks as if it will play a significant role in China’s future energy supply.