Facing an Energy Dilemma (Grain Security) – Beijing Review
Recent Beijing Review magazine’s top story on China’s journey to solve energy shortage but face another challenge – food security:
Yushu City (Ê¶ÜÊ†ë) in northeast Jilin Province has been the country’s top grain producer for the last three years, yielding a total of around 2.4 million tons of grain every year, of which 1.8 million tons is corn. However, the mayor’s assistant Sun Linqi is worried that the city will be a net grain importer in the near future. “When the two bio-fuel projects [in the city] are completed, we need to import corn from other cities to meet their demand,” he said.
According to Sun, the two projects will eventually each consume up to 1 million tons of corn every year upon completion. A bio-fuel boom is going on throughout China, which is notable, considering that the concept only has a 10-year history in the country.
While some ecologists question whether producing ethanol and bio-diesel fuel from corn and other crops is worthwhile in terms of the amount of energy produced and the cost involved, the Chinese Government is facing the same issue from a different perspective: balancing its energy strategy with grain security. [Full Text]