Biogas Test Run in Sichuan Province, China

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Rural China faces serious energy woes but the Fenghuang village in Sichuan Province is turning to a new alternative, biogas.

The product of fermented biological waste, biogas maybe one answer to China's rapidly growing energy demands.

Similar to natural gas, the new energy source is clean, inexpensive and sustainable, says Li Yonggui, an operator of the village's community biogas project.

[Li Yonggui, Biogas Project Worker]:
"We produce wheat, corn and agricultural crops and these are all natural resources. As long as we will continue to produce these crops, they will create new energy resources and this is the biggest benefit."

At present, the country relies on its huge coal reserves for most of its power needs.

But the cheap and polluting fossil fuel carries risks that can be avoided with biogas, says Beijing's People's University environmental studies professor Ma Zhong.

[Professor Ma Zhong, Beijing's People's University]:
"Consumption demand for energy is becoming an increasingly important issue for China. People's standard of living has improved and they are using much more electricity and power. So, rural energy consumption should rely on biological materials, including biogas, rather than the oil and coal used in the big cities."

Use of biogas, another name for methane, can reduce CO2 emissions by hundreds of thousands of tons annually, a major issue as the mainland looks to meet eco commitments.

While biogas is still a young energy source, experts hope it will bring a safer and greener energy to rural China in the years ahead.

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