BEIJING, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- China's geothermal energy resources amount to 860 trillion tonnes of coal equivalent, an amount 260,000 times greater than China's annual energy consumption, according to newly issued statistics from the Ministry of Land and Resources.
The figure is based on a new evaluation of geothermal energy resources buried 3,000 to 10,000 meters below 287 cities, 12 sedimentary basins and 2,562 hot springs.
The ministry said the country's shallow-lying geothermal energy resources add up to 9.5 billion tonnes of coal equivalent, with annually available resources amounting to 350 million tonnes of coal equivalent.
If shallow-lying resources are effectively used, the country can save 250 million tonnes of standard coal and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 500 million tonnes, the ministry said. Similarly, resources in sedimentary basins can save 853 billion tonnes of standard coal, according to the ministry.
Geothermal energy resources are abundant in China, although the country's ability to develop and utilize them is still in its infancy.