(TibetanReview.net, Nov30’21) – While the hydropower generation of electricity is seen as eco-friendly, the building of the reserviour dams and power stations themselves are often not, especially in Chinese occupied Tibet, where forced displacement of local Tibetan inhabitants remain a serious additional issue. To the government of China, however, the gains have been immense. The Tibet Electric Power Co., Ltd. of the State Grid said it had transmitted 8.98 billion kWh of electricity out of the region from 2015 to this summer, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Nov 29.
In 2015, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) sent electricity to neighboring Qinghai Province for the first time, with 1.81 million kWh per day. With it, TAR’s clean energy began to participate in the regional balance of power supply in northwest People’s Republic of China and the optimization and adjustment of the country’s energy structure, the report cited the company as saying.
Qinghai constitutes the bulk of the historical Tibetan province of Amdo (or Domey). But Tibetans now constitute less than 25 percent of its population because of the massive influx of Chinese settlers and the building of entirely new Chinese-populated cities there such as Golmud.
The report said that in 2018, the TAR began to supply power to northwest China’s Gansu and Shaanxi provinces after signing electricity transmission contracts with them.
The report continued that two years later, the company signed framework agreements on clean energy consumption with power supply companies in 11 provinces and cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.
The report noted that the TAR had seen the construction and operation of several power stations during China’s 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), alleviating the power shortage in spring and winter in TAR and promoting power transmission outside the region.
The company plans to invest 46.6 billion yuan (about US$7.3 billion) in TAR during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) to improve the connection of the power grid between the region and southwestern China, the report added.