Sichuan has plenty of energy resources. Hydropower, coal and natural gas are the major forms of energy, and coal, natural gas and petroleum, and hydropower account for about 23.5%, 1.5% and 75% respectively.
Sichuan’s hydropower reserves theoretically reach 143 million KW, accounting for 21.2% of the national total reserves and second only to that of Tibet. Of all the reserves, 103 million KW is technologically exploitable and 76.112 million KW is economically exploitable with the former accounting for 27.2% and the later accounting for 31.9% of the national total, both ranking the first in China. Sichuan’s hydropower resources are mainly located in the three major river systems, namely the Daduhe River, Jinshajiang River and Yalongjiang River in the mountains of southwest Sichuan, accounting for about 2/3 of the total reserves of hydropower throughout the province. This region is therefore known as the largest “hydropower-rich area” in China. The technologically exploitable amount accounts for more than 79.2% of the theoretical reserves and over 80% of the provincial total of technologically exploitable amount. The Ertan Hydropower Station on the Yalongjiang River has installed capacity of up to 3.3 million KW.
The ensured reserves of coal in Sichuan reach 9.733 billion tons and the verified reserves account for 0.9% of the national total. Natural gas is the main form of petroleum and gas resources. Sichuan has a small reserve of petroleum, and the accumulated new petroleum reserves which have been verified in the Sichuan Basin are 67.96 million tons. However, the Sichuan Basin is rich in natural gas and also one of China’s major petroliferous basins, where more than 7 trillion cubic meters of natural gas have been discovered. Sichuan’s bio-energy is equally abundant. There are annually 31,485,300 tons of exploitable human and animal feces, 11,890,300 tons of firewood, and 42,122,400 tons of straws and 1 billion cubic meters of marsh gas. The preliminarily verified reserve of peat approximates 2 billion tons. Moreover, solar power, wind power and geothermal resources are comparatively rich, which are to be developed and utilized. (The above data are provided by the Sichuan Yearbook Press. See Sichuan Yearbook 2008 for more details. )