A national energy company is planning to invest 100 billion yuan ($ 15.87 billion) within 10 years to tap into abundant solar and hydroelectric power resources in Tibet.
Huaneng Tibet Power Generation Co., Ltd. (HTPG), a subsidiary of the state-owned China Huaneng Group, has signed multiple agreements with the Tibetan autonomous regional government regarding development of clean energy, company sources said.
"The investment is aimed at putting an end to the energy shortage in Tibet and sending power out of the region as well," said Liu Xingguo, general manager of HTPG.
Tibet has abundant solar and hydroelectric power resources, with the amount of annual sunlight clocking in at 2,000 hours and hydropower resources that are believed to account for 29 percent of the national total.
However, Tibet still suffers from power shortage due to underdeveloped infrastructure, which has in turn hindered the region's economic and social development.
In July 2010, Huaneng kicked off construction on the Zangmu Hydropower Station, the largest hydropower project in the region.
The 8.5 billion-yuan project, with an installed capacity of 510,000 kilowatts, is expected to go operational in 2014 and reach its full capacity in 2016 after its six power-generating units are put into use, generating 2.5 billion kilowatts of electricity annually.
By 2015, Huaneng's installed capacity in Tibet will reach 800,000 kilowatts and rise further to 10 million kilowatts by 2020, according to the agreements between the company and the regional government.