New think tanks could drive "energy revolution": academic


   A senior Chinese academic has called for the government to spark an "energy revolution" by forming specialist policy think tanks and building showcase projects as well as pouring in investment and encouraging innovation.

  China lags behind developed countries in the energy sector, relying on imported core technology, warned Xie Kechang, vice president of the Chinese Association of Science and Technology and a member of Chinese Academy of Engineering.

  The country should formulate a blueprint for developing energy technology focusing on greater efficiency, use of fossil fuels, smart power grids, renewable resources and advanced nuclear power, said Xie.

  He urged the government to carry out institutional reforms to facilitate innovation. Encouraging private investment would help with establishing think tanks and projects capable of steering and inspiring others with best practice, according to the academic.

  Under a plan announced by the Communist Party of China earlier this month, the country will innovate to build a clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient modern energy system in the next five years.

  It is aiming to have non-fossil energy fulfill 15 percent of its total energy needs by 2020. Coal currently accounts for about 66 percent of national primary energy consumption, 35 percentage points higher than the world average.