China is experiencing a massive urbanization movement. The massive relocation of Chinese to urban centers will bring tremendous demands on land, energy, water and the environment. China is the world's largest consumer of coal and is looking into alternative energy options to meet demand.
Chinese businessmen visit an international natural gas equipment exhibition in Beijing on April 1, 2011. China just completed its first horizontal shale gas well, after 11 months of drilling, as the world's biggest energy consumer seeks to tap its reserves of the cleaner-burning fuel. China plans to triple the use of natural gas to about 10 percent of energy consumption by 2020 to help cut reliance on more-polluting oil and coal. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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A life-like mural of a worker cleaning the 'sky' is painted on the side of coal towers adjacent to one of Beijing's main power plants December 16, 2010. China faced power and energy shortages during the winter as supplies of oil and coal were hit hard by the country's aggressive urbanization, according to China's top economic planning body. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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A thick blanket of smog hangs over central Beijing August 9, 2010. China's leaders have ordered over 2,000 steel cement mills and other factories with poor energy efficiency to close as it struggles to cut waste and improve the country's battered environment. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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A heavy fog hangs over the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in Sichuan Province, September 2, 2010. China's hydropower installed capacity has exceeded 200 million kilowatts, making it the world's highest, according to government reports. The Chinese government aims to boost that amount to 300 million kilowatts by 2015, as part of its aim to cut carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40 to 45 percent by 2020. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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A major coal-powered energy plant works to supply heat to Beijing as record low temperatures hit the capital December 16, 2010. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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Chinese visit the 2010 China International Forum and Expo on the Coal Industry, Green Low-Carbon Utilization being held in Beijing October 28, 2010. China is the largest consumer of coal in the world, and is about to become the largest user of coal-derived electricity with demand out-pacing production. UPI/Stephen shaver
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Chinese take snapshots of themselves in a closed, coal-powered energy plant in Beijing on May 13, 2009. China now uses more coal than the United States, Europe and Japan combined, making it the world's largest emitter of harmful gases that are warming the planet. But less reported is that China has emerged in the past two years as the world's leading builder of more efficient, less polluting coal power plants, mastering the technology and driving down the cost. (UPI Photo/Stephen Shaver)
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