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China's rural hydropower capacity to hit 74 mln kw by 2015

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CHONGQING, May 7 (Xinhua) -- China's capacity of rural hydropower is expected to hit 74 million kilowatts by 2015, said the country's Water Resources Minister Chen Lei Saturday.

The newly-installed capacity of rural hydropower in China would reach 15 million kilowatts in the next five years, said Chen, while attending a rural hydropower construction conference held in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

Chen said rural hydropower would play a more important role in improving the energy structure, developing a low-carbon economy and securing the well-being of the people.

Rural hydropower refers to the small hydropower stations each with installed capacity of 50,000 kilowatts or less.

According to Tian Zhongxing, chief of the department of water and power under the Water Resources Ministry, as rural hydropower did not require large waterways and the relocation of residents, it is convenient to develop the energy and provide electricity to nearby neighborhoods.

Right now, more than half of China's territory has been covered by small hydropower projects supplying electricity for 300 million people who had previously lived without electricity, said Tian.

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