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08:37 Mar 21 2012

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Clean energy becomes prevalent in Tibetan areas
08:37, March 21, 2012  

Gyatso is one of a number of former Tibetan nomads to have replaced dung and firewood with coal after settling down in Xiahe county in northwest China's Gansu province.
Next winter, he will not even need to store coal, as his community will have access to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in October.

LPG, the third category of clean energy to be prevalent in Gansu's Tibetan areas after methane and solar energy, will make Gyatso's community greener, said Mao Shengwu, a top official with the local government in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gannan.

The LPG project was launched under an agreement between the prefectural government and PetroChina's Lanzhou Kunlun Gas Co. Ltd. early this month, he said Tuesday in an interview with Xinhua.

The 317.5-million-yuan (50.26 million U.S. dollars) project, designed to transmit 80 million cubic meters of gas annually, consists of a 118-km pipeline connecting the cities of Linxia and Hezuo, said Mao.

Xiahe county alone will have 31 km of the pipeline that provides 24 million cubic meters of gas a year, he said.

The Gannan gas project is part of a provincial gas transmission pipeline initiated in 2009.

"All the pipelines were laid by the end of last year and residents in Hezuo and Xiahe will have access to LPG gas this coming winter," said Mao.

He said the LPG project is expected to fuel local Tibetan communities, public facilities, motor vehicles and businesses in Gannan prefecture.

In an effort to preserve the ecology and improve people's livelihoods, the Chinese government made methane gas available to Tibetan families in their homes in Gansu province in 2003 to replace cattle dung and firewood as the primary household fuel.

Between 2006 and 2010, methane gas was made available to nearly 30,000 households, saving at least 1,000 kg of firewood equivalent a year for each family, said Mao.

Starting in 2008, Gannan prefecture began building solar energy stoves for Tibetan families and rural schools.

The use of clean energy has served the local environment and improved efficiency, as many families have a vegetable gardening area, a livestock pen and a methane fermentation tank. Methane gas coming from animals' excrement is used as energy and the waste produced is used as fertilizer for vegetables and fruits.

Gannan prefecture is one of the biggest Tibetan communities outside Tibet Autonomous Region. It has a population of 680,000, of whom 378,500 are Tibetans.

From: Xinhua

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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