BEIJING • China will accelerate its development of geothermal power by 2020 to help meet targets set for renewable fuels consumption and tackle air pollution, Chinese officials said at a geothermal conference.
The world's largest energy consumer plans to raise the non-fossil fuel portion of primary energy consumption to 15 per cent from 12 per cent by the end of its 13th five-year plan in 2020.
Geothermal power generation of 530,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) by 2020 is expected to reduce annual standard coal use by 72.1 million tonnes and cut 177 million tonnes of yearly carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
China's capital city and nearby areas - known as Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei - is set to be the core region for geothermal power. The district holds 48 geothermal fields that together could provide power equivalent to 343 million tonnes of standard coal use, or 94 per cent of its coal consumption in 2014.
Hebei's Xiong county is the only area to use exclusively electricity generated from geothermal power, starting up a cooperative venture with state-controlled energy giant Sinopec in 2009.
Sinopec currently accounts for 40 per cent of China's geothermal capacity, and plans to have 20 more cities using only geothermal- generated power by 2020.