China sees alternative energy in the grasslands

China's vast grasslands, which cover about 40% of its landmass, should be increasingly used to generate power from the sun and wind, state media reported an international conference as finding. Researchers are also eyeing its potential as a site for ethanol production, the report said.

Developing ethanol production on the grasslands would be a "major step toward clean, renewable resource development in China", Xinhua cited Zhang Yingjun, a professor at China Agricultural University, as saying at a joint meeting of the International Grassland Congress and the International Rangeland Congress.

The government should offer subsidies for biofuel research and development, Liu Jiawen, an official at the Ministry of Agriculture, was quoted as saying.

James O’Rourke, president of the International Rangeland Congress, said he was impressed by wind power development in China’s grasslands. "I see China is really on the right track in this area," he was quoted as saying.

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