November 3, 2011

China targets biomass energy in next five years


China's biomass energy capacity is expected to top 13 million kilowatts by 2015, up 160% compared to 5.5 million kilowatts in 2010, according to its 2011-15 development plan for biomass energy due to be released soon.

Of the targeted 13 million kilowatts installed capacity, some eight million kilowatts (KW) are of woody biomass, two million KW are of marsh gas and three million KW are of waste generation, the plan said.

Industry observers noted that China's biomass energy is likely to go through large-scale development towards industrialisation over the next five years.

It is noted that 300 biomass power plants are planned to be built during 2011-15 period, while analysts estimated some 500-700 biomass power plants needed in order to fulfill the targeted 13 million kilowatts in biomass energy.

With the fast development and industrialisation of the second generation of biofuel technology, China is to further diversify its biofuel sources especially biofuel from non-crop materials such as straw, wood chips, algae, and pulp waste.

China is expected to produce 15 million tonnes of biofuel ethanol from non-food grain resources, millions of tonnes of bio-diesel from grain forest and thousands of tonnes of biomass energy from cellulose and algae in middle to long term, according to the energy research institute under National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

However, the development of China's biomass energy industry would be confined by the continuing shortage of raw material, which has been encountered by some biomass energy plants during 2006-2010 period, said Shi Lishan, deputy director of New and Renewable Energy Department of the National Energy Administration (NEA).

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