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14:49 Sep 22 2009

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300,000 rural Tibetans benefit from renewable energy
14:47, September 22, 2009  

So far, a total of 300,000 farmers and herdsmen in Tibet Autonomous Region benefit from the environment-friendly renewable energy in all aspects.

Today, utilization of solar energy and wind power are actively encouraged in Tibet and accepted by local people, including those in agricultural and pastoral areas.

Tibet now has a total installed capacity of 9,000 kw for photovoltaic power plants using solar energy, and 200,000 solar energy stoves and 50,000 methane-generating pits were set up, taking the lead in China in the use of solar energy.

Photo taken in August 2006 shows herders in Gulu County, Nagqu Prefecture of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region using solar photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. (photo: xinhua)

With solar energy, some 200,000 people have access to electric light while 300,000 save about 100 million yuan of expenditure on standard coal of 135,000 tons.

In Tibet, firewood and cow dung used to be the most important fuels for people in agricultural and pastoral areas. But a massive use of firewood may lead to lumber cutting in a destructive manner, thus leading to pasture degradation. According to incomplete statistics, the firewood wastage in Tibet reached 3,000 stere in last several decades.

Now Tibet is vigorously promoting substitution of traditional fuels in the agricultural and pastoral areas, enhancing development of renewable energy in a move to improve rural people's living standard as well as protect the ecological environment.

Photo taken on November 25, 2007, shows the Tibetan farmer Wangmu in Garlung Village, Doilungdeqen County, Tibet Autonomous Region, cooks with methane-generating stove.(photo: xinhua)

According to Li Shexiang, director of the Demonstration Center of Tibet Energy Research, enjoying above 3,300 hours of sunshine annually is conducive to utilization of solar energy.

As one of the replacement new resource, methane is now widely used in the rural areas of Tibet. In the meanwhile, 200,000 methane-generating pits are being planned for 59 counties in the region, promising to provide methane for about one million farmers and herdsmen.

The Demonstration Center of Tibet Energy Research calculates that each methane-generating pit sized at 10 to 12 stere is able to save two tons of standard coal annually for three to five households.

"Wide use of renewable energy, especially the quickening up of methane, wind power, water power and terrestrial heat development, not only helps Tibet cope with energy shortage, but equilibrizes the balance between environmental protection and new countryside construction," said Li Shexiang.

Source:China Tibet Information Center

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