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Trip Report: Briefing China's New Energy Programs

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posted on Apr, 13 2008 @ 09:26 PM
Energy and environmental issues are always hot in recent decades. I am visiting China and got a chance to have meetings with Chinese colleagues where they briefed me of progresses in China's new energy programs, which are listed below.

1. LNG (liquefied natural gas) and CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicle program.

China now has about 1 million automobiles burning LNG or CNG. This program just started 5 years ago. How could they make such a quick progress? The government encouraged and sponsored some of the conversion from gasoline ot LNG/CNG. And in some cities, local congress made a law that all liscences for taxi drivers need to be linked with CNG cars, say, the city of Chengdu, a southwestern metropole, where almost 200,000 cars are using CNG.

2. Biodiesel Program.

Chinese government does not encourage converting edible oils into biodiesel. Instead, they initiated a program in South China a few bases for planting Jatropha-type trees (producing inedible oil). The Phase I goal is to produce about 1 million tons (about 7 million barrel) of biodiesel by 2011. After assessement, a Phase II and Phase III should be conducted if social, environmental, and other effects are positive. The long-term (10 year) goal is to produce 10 million tons a year. That is huge.

3. Bioethanol Program

China only use aged rice for fermentaqtion because they need to feed 1.3 billion people and no extra food or sugar cane for bioethanol. However, the government made a program to plant Yam-like starch producing species (with extremely high yield, say, 5 times the yield of corn) and convert the starch into bioethanol. My colleagues did not reveal the scale for this program, only stating the program is in progress.

4. EV (electric vehicle) Program

We all know that Toyota pronounced their EV program years ago. So did GE. They have not put their EV in the market yet. However, the first commercialized EV was seen in China. A company called BYD (One of China's, also, World's biggest battery manufacturers) actually is selling EV in Year 2007.

5. Wind power program and Solar power program

In collaboration with some northern european countries, China started the wind power program a few years ago. They are new in this area. However, the photovoltac industry is very advanced now. A name, Shi Zhengrong, owners of a famous new company, is rapidly gaining world reputation in this area.

6. Nuclear Fusion program.

China's Tokamak-7 devices in Hefei is at the leading position of the the world, in both plasma density, temperature, and stable discharge time (over 1000 second). Meanwhile, China is also participating the super-europe programs in this field.

Good luck to all these programs. You know, I really would like to see more progresses from the West, although people are talking of hydrogen economy, etc everywhere and we also have successful Brazil ethanol and the corn ethanol program in USA. However, we need more efforts. Otherwise, we might be left well behind the Chinese in exploring alternative energy.

Good luck to us all.

[edit on 13-4-2008 by fuelcell]

posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 09:02 AM
Very interesting! Thanks for the personal report

Good. Non-edible sources for biodiesel. And the starch for ethanol. Good on other topics.

US has to realize that, since they use 25% of world's energy, if they want other countries to become as successful as they are in a global economy, then, duh, you can't have that competition for petroleum. We found a similar situation in Iraq, when after the invasion, people went out and bought more appliances, which taxed the energy grid, which made it harder to fix to keep up with demand.

I read this yesterday Wind/Solar in Texas

The US has been/is like an addict who can't see beyond getting the next fix, even to the point of stealing (resorting to military action). We need to diversify our energy portfolio! Too bad political leaders with their own business agenda have helped put this great nation behind on the energy curve.

America won't fall because the Ten Commandments aren't posted in classrooms and the halls of government. It will slide away as other nations come up with better energy sources.

[edit on 15-4-2008 by desert]

posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 08:54 PM
Thank you for your interest and encouraging, for your information also.

I believe that the US needs a better energy policy and Americans need better energy practice. We need to do much more in order to maintain the advantageous status for a longer period, although ups and downs are just inevitable in the history.

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