China joins race for biofuels


The China Daily reports that by 2010, China plans to plant an area the size of England, or 13 million hectares, with trees from which biofuel can be extracted as a source of clean energy, according to the State Forestry Administration (SFA).

Jatropha (pictured above), also called physic nut, is currently grown on around 2 million hectares across the country and produces non-edible oil for making candles and soap. Now, it will be the main ingredient in the production of biodiesel.The 13-million-hectare forest mostly spread over southern China is expected to produce nearly 6 million tons of biodiesel every year.The jatropha trees can also provide wood fuel for a power plant with an installed capacity of 12 million kilowatts about two-thirds the capacity of the Three Gorges Dam project, the world’s biggest.

This amount of bio-energy will account for 30 percent of the country’s renewable energy by 2010, according to the SFA. Cao Qingyao, spokesman for the SFA, said: “This plan will not only help the country enlarge its green coverage (currently at about 130 million hectares) but also meet increasing demand for energy. And most importantly, it provides clean energy to meet the country’s target of sustainable development,” he said.

China National Petroleum Corporation, one of the country’s three energy giants, has started collaboration with the SFA to develop biofuel. Jiang Jiemin, head of the corporation, said last month that the group would, by 2010, build a commercial production base with an annual capacity of 200,000 tons of biodiesel by planting more than 400,000 hectares of trees.

China, never one to do things by halves!

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7 Responses to China joins race for biofuels

  1. Pete Smith says:

    Let’s hope they tell people not to eat the jatropha fruit!

  2. matt says:

    Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours for ‘’;

    · Porn company to release Paris Hilton sex video
    · Thailand ladyboy band perform in Bangkok
    · College girls go nude before camera for eternal beauty
    · China, Japan seek to promote relations
    · Fortune-teller: Year of Pig not so amicable
    · Huge hot pot in Chengdu


  3. matt says:

    It shows that the Chinese are no more interested in important news articles (like energy related matters – e.g. biofuel expansion) than Brits, Americans, Europeans ….. Sex, food & fortune telling will keep the masses entertained while the few try to grapple with keeping their societies systems afloat, let alone make them sustainable. Off topic? … stretching it somewhat 😉 But then, The Coffee House isn’t known for its narrow vision!

  4. Pete Smith says:

    Matt, Matt, Matt. Assuming you got your list of top stories from and not which is a very different site, I have to take issue with your conclusions. First, internet penetration in China is still only 10% of population, although growing fast (of course)

    Second, China Daily themselves ‘only’ project 6 million hits per day (The Coffee House should be so lucky!). This equates to about 0.005% of the Chinese population, 0.05% of internet users, most of which will inevitably be concentrated in major urban centres. This will be reduced further by the need to read English (the 6 million covers all the China Daily sites in all languages)

    All in all, it doesn’t seem reasonable to condemn “the Chinese” for not being interested in “important” news on this basis. Far more likely the hits for the items on your list are generated by prurient-minded foreign devils.

  5. matt says:

    Corrupted foreign Chinese ‘devils’ maybe. But yes, we really are going off topic now. It’s all your fault!

  6. Pete Smith says:

    Usually is. But I just had to put you straight. Can’t help myself 😎

    “Strictly speaking, I’m not a pedant, I’m a nit-picker” (Anon)

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