China's top economic regulator has approved the construction of the Lawa hydropower station along the Jinsha River in the junction of Sichuan province and the Tibet autonomous region, in an effort to increase renewable energy supply and boost local development, said its official website on Tuesday.
The project, located along the main stream of the Jinsha River, will be built to tap into the water resources of the upstream of the river. According to the National Development and Reform Commission, four hydroelectric generating sets will be installed, and the total installed capacity of the project will reach 2,000 megawatts. Its annual power generation is estimated to be 8.36 billion kilowatt-hours.
With a total investment of 30.97 billion yuan ($4.59 billion), its project capital is 6.19 billion yuan, which is 20 percent of the total investment. Huadian Group Co Ltd will have a 48 percent stake in the project, with minority stakes held by provincial firms.
"The Jinsha River is a main stream of the Yangtze River, and contains rich water resources. Therefore, tapping into the Jinsha River is important. The project takes advantage of the river, and is beneficial to optimizing the country's energy structure, as well as using low-carbon energy," said Zhou Dadi, a senior researcher at the China Energy Research Society.
"Also, the project improves the region's flood control capacity and water transfer capacity," he added.
Also on Tuesday, the NDRC and the National Energy Administration jointly launched a guideline on China's clean energy consumption from 2018 to 2020, with a goal of achieving significant results in clean energy consumption in 2018, and basically solving the problem of clean energy consumption by 2020.
According to the guideline, by 2018, China's wind power utilization rate should be higher than 88 percent, while photovoltaic power and hydropower utilization should both surpass 95 percent.
By 2019, wind power utilization rate should surpass 90 percent, the utilization rates of both photovoltaic and hydropower should be over 95 percent.
Furthermore, the nation aims at raising both its wind power and hydropower utilization rates to 95 percent.
Li Li, energy research director at market consultancy ICIS China, said: "The guideline offers the key performance indexes (KPI) for renewable energy. To achieve the KPI, apart from industry's efforts, reform of institutional mechanisms is also needed."
"Clear positioning should be offered to the best application scenarios of different types of energy. Relevant supportive policies are also essential," she added.