China to impose new restrictions on Small Hydro Power Plants


SHANGHAI: In an aggressive drive towards sustainable power production, China is planning to put an ultimate ban on the construction of small hydropower plants in regions that previously have an electricity surplus and encourage construction of new dams in poor and remote locations with little grid access. China’s National Energy Administration said the draft rules aim to stimulate the orderly development of the hydropower sector after decades of rampant and poorly planned capacity growth. The power regulator further said small hydro plants would be banned in forest parks, scenic spots, habitats for rare fish, and other “ecologically fragile” zones. It would also be restricted in regions where large amounts of power are wasted because of limited access to the grid. China’s hydropower sector is a major source of clean energy, with a capacity of about 350 gigawatt or around 18% of the country’s total.