Hydro power generation in China last year was 563,300GWh, which equates to 16.41% of total electricity output in the country.

The scale of hydro power generation increased by 19.5 percentage points in 2008 compared to the previous year, reported the China Electricity Council (CEC) in its latest annual review.

CEC said that China now has 171,520MW of hydro power capacity, which is a 21.64% share of the total generation portfolio. Installed hydro power capacity increased by 15.7 percentage points in 2008 compared to the previous period.

China has also started construction of a 660kV DC transmission line that is to link hydro power plants in the upper catchment of the Yangtze river at the western end with thermal plants in the eastern stretch, which extends to Shandong province.

The Northwest (Ningdong)-North China (Shandong) power line is to be 1335km long and be completed in 2010. The budget for the project is Rmb 10.4B (US$1.5B).