China is pressing ahead with construction of four hydroelectric power stations on the Jinsha River.
When operational the four, Xiluodu, Xiangiaba, Wudongde and Baihetan, will have a combined installed capacity of 43GW, twice that of the Three Gorges Dam, and supply 190TWh a year, according to Chinese media reports. Three Gorges is currently the world’s largest power station in terms of installed capacity.
Construction of two of the plants has already been in progress for some years. Xiluodu, which was begun in 2005, is expected to start running in 2013. When complete it will have an installed capacity of 13.7GW, making it the second largest hydroelectric station in China.
Xiangjiaba, where building began in January 2006, is expected to be operational in October 2012. Its final installed capacity will be 6.4GW.
According to Tian Bingyi, spokesman for the Energy Research Centre at the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Wudongde and Baihetan facilities are in the design stage.
Tian said design for both power stations is expected to be completed by early 2012 and submitted to NDRC for approval, after which a date will be set for construction to start. Should plans fall into place both facilities should be operational by 2015.
China Three Gorges Corporation will oversee the operation of the four power stations.
China aims to increase the use of non-fossil energy to 15 per cent by 2020, 20 per cent by 2030 and 34 per cent by 2050.