Energy-hungry China has decided to embrace hydropower as one renewable method to satisfy its growing need. In 2008, the use of large hydropower systems in China grew by 19.5-percent accounting for around 16.4 percent of the country’s total output.
A couple of weeks ago China opened up its third largest hydropower station in the country. The Longtan hydropower station is still in the first phase and will generate around 700 megawatts of power using 7 generators.
When the second and third phases of construction are completed, the Longtan station will have an expected total output of 6.3 gigawatts of power. Around 80,000 residents so far have been relocated to accommodate this new power plant.
And, besides its large hydropower stations in Longtan, Datang and Xiluodu, China also gets a significant portion of its electricity from small, rural micro-hydro stations. In 2008, there were 50,000 such micro-hydro stations in China supplying one-quarter of the population with electricity.
Because China’s population is listed at 1.3 billion and the U. S. population at slightly over 300 million, this means that China’s rural micro-hydro stations last year supplied a population the size of the entire U. S. with electricity.