Alternative Energy Tops Finance Ministry Agenda in 11th 5-yr Plan – Xinhua

 Fortune 2005-08 17 Xinsrc 13208021708120781183266

Well known that China is a big time exporter of cheap goods, but it is also an insatiable importer and global scouter of energy and resources. And no wonder China’s Finance Ministry, working with other central planners, is pursuing means and technologies, and giving big money too, for alternative energy that can spare China from increasing dependency on the power (meaning electricity, etc.) of foreign powers.

It is learned, according to Xinhua News Agency, that the Finance Ministry is working with the Ministry of Construction on promoting the development and deployment of projects that use solar power, top-surface earth energy, wind power and other renewable sources, for which special funds have been earmarked for R&D.

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The Finance Ministry is reportedly in joint studies with other agencies in planning out a petroleum alternatives strategy, for the state’s energy security. Other alternatives in the ministry’s favor include biomass and coal-to-gasoline technologies.

China’s oil reserves can be tapped for 15 years, according to statistics from the Ministry of Land Resources, well below the world’s average of 51 years. China imported 43% of its oil consumption, and the dependency on foreign oil is estimated to 56% by 2020, importing 250 million tons out of a total demand of 450 million tons.

Understandably, energy has topped China’s treasury’s agenda. The ministry, while funding alternatives development, is also trying to explore energy reserves system and educate consumers to be conservationists. [Full Text in Chinese]

See also US Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute’s Chinese Oil Dependence: Opportunities and Challenges that analyzes how oil dependence is shaping China’s security strategy, identify recent steps China has taken to ensure her continued access to oil, and recommends actions the United States should take in light of China’s new dependence on foreign oil:

China’s dependence on foreign energy sources to fuel its economic growth represents a new influence on her national strategy. Prior to 1993 China was self sufficient in oil production. By 2000 she was importing one million barrels of oil per day, this represented one quarter of her petroleum needs. China is projected to be importing eight million barrels per day by 2020, this will represent 75% of her oil requirement.

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