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More Shanghai Residents Use 'Green' Energy

About 5,000 households in Shanghai have chosen to use relatively expensive "green electricity" -- power generated from wind or solar energy -- over the past four months as part of their efforts to protect the city's environment.

A total of 5,524 households and 22 companies have so far purchased 15.8 million kwh of "green electricity", said Zhu Rong, marketing manager with the Shanghai Municipal Electricity Company.

Since the end of last year, the Shanghai municipal government has been encouraging residents and companies to voluntarily buy "green electricity" to support environmental protection in the city.

Because of high production costs, "green electricity" is priced at 1.14 yuan (14 US cent) per kwh, nearly twice as much as standard coal-generated electricity.

"I bought 1,080 kwh -- three years' worth -- of "green electricity", which means I pay about 16 yuan (about US$2) more per month than I do for standard electricity," said Zhao Zhong, a Shanghai resident.

By purchasing "green electricity" I am giving support to the development of power from renewable resources, Zhao said.

However, the "green electricity" purchased only accounts for 30percent of Shanghai's total production costs, said Zhu. The remaining production costs have to be met by the electricity company.

In 2003, the Shanghai government demonstrated a "green electricity" project using clean energies such as solar and wind power, in an effort to reduce pollution caused by coal burning.

Currently, Shanghai's solar and wind energy power generation capacity is about 53.6 million kws.

(Xinhua News Agency August 22, 2006)

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