"We are aiming to make the new-energy industry a new engine of development," Liu said.
Following instructions from the Cabinet, Liu and his colleagues "are working intensely so
that the draft will be tabled for approval by the higher authorities as soon as possible,"
he told China Daily after a press conference in Beijing.
The first phase of the program covers a strategic shift in three years to nuclear, solar,
wind, biomass power and clean coal technologies - with investment opportunities worth as
much as 3 trillion yuan ($439 billion), he said. Phase 2 encompasses the period up to 2020
and will entail far more investment.
According to energy officials, the existing plan for nuclear energy is likely to expand by
as much as 50 percent from the level planned in 2006.
Targets may also be raised for renewable energy, whose target for 2020 was set at 15
percent of total output. The actual figures for capital investment and details of the
projects are subject to the central government's final approval, Liu said.
The new-energy program is aimed at not only reducing the economy's energy intensity but
also identifying potential high-growth areas and driving forces for future development.
Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, in a policy speech on May 21, described the new-energy industry,
which includes energy consumption and environmental protection, as a strategic industry.
Officials said that energy specialists were summoned to Beijing on April 2 and have been
working on the new program since.
At the press conference Monday, Zhang Guobao, director of the National Energy
Administration, said a new-energy program would be a driving force in growth once the
present fiscal stimulus plan has helped stabilize the overall economy.
Beijing has shown keen interest in the development of the new technological frontier after
the US, the EU and Japan unveiled clean energy programs against the backdrop of the global