To meet China”s goal on energy conservation and emission reduction, the country intends to reach an installed capacity of hydropower of 380 gigawatts (GW) by 2020, according to a report by Industrial Info Resources. These goals were outlined is a speech by Zhang Guobao, China”s director of the National Energy Administration (NEA) and vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), who spoke in Beijing on August 26.

This year is the 100th anniversary of hydropower in China. Following the beginning of operations for Unit 4 of China Huaneng Group”s (Beijing) Xiaowan Hydropower Station in Yunnan province on August 25, China”s installed capacity of hydropower surpassed 200 GW, ranking the country top in the world, according to Industrial Info. Xiaowan Hydropower Station is the second scheme in the cascade development planning of the middle and downstream river section of Lancang River. The power station plans to install six units of 700 megawatts (MW) each, with a total installed capacity of 4,200 MW.

During his speech, Industrial Info reports Zhang added that national policies and regulation on aspects such as environmental protection, resettlement, cultivated land protection, and new rural construction will be used for hydropower development. Hydropower shall not be treated as only a power project, as adequate attention shall be paid to build it as an environmentally and socially friendly project.

China is among the countries with the richest hydropower resources, and the installed capacity of technically exploitable water resources could reach 542 GW, of which 402 GW are economic exploitable. It”s expected that the installed capacity of hydropower in China will reach 300 GW during the country”s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15).

To read Industrial Info”s full report on this story, click here.