China’s hydroelectric power capacity rose to 115GW at the end of 2005, revealed a report from the country’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The period 2000 to 2005 saw a 3.6GW increase in Chinese hydro capacity as new facilities started operation. Around 7GW was from substantial new projects, and progress of the Three Gorges project on Yangtze river was satisfactory during the period.

To encourage the development of hydroelectric power, China’s government carried out a census of the country’s water resources, which led to a strengthening of the preliminary work on hydroelectric power developments and designs for strategic projects.

The boom in hydro power goes together with China’s need to meet its growing energy demand, and a new law on renewable energy that was passed in February 2005. The law took effect from 1 January 2006.