image credit: Photo by Michael Barnard, in CleanTechnica article 9Jan2023
- Jan 9, 2024 5:31 pm GMT
CleanTechnica: “The yin and yang of china’s renewable energy politices—more solar, more wind, and more coal.” China, with land area about equivalent to all 50 US states, has extensive deserts in the northwest with minimal population but abundant sunshine. Contrariwise, the eastern sections of the country boast favorable locations for wind farms. “Between the two, China expects to install 455 GW of wind and solar before the end of this decade.” This would represent more clean energy generation capacity than any other country, which is critical to achieving peak emissions ahead of its 2030 target. China just broke ground on a massive new ‘facility in a derelict coal area in the mining hub of Datong, [which] will have 6 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity and 3.4 gigawatt-hours of energy storage.’ As always, for comparison assume a typical nuclear plant generates about 1 gigawatt [GW] of power. “When completed, these renewable energy hubs may produce the least expensive electricity in the world.” China is therefore creating a network of new high-capacity power lines, requiring decades + costing as much as $300 billion. “It’s already built more than 30 such conduits, while the rest of the world has only a handful.” Their other option is to site new power-hungry factories near the new generators + also the hydropower-rich mountains and rivers of Sichuan and Yunnan. “The surge in investment in renewable energy in Inner Mongolia is acting as a catalyst for high tech industries.” Ming Yang Smart Energy Group Ltd. builds the world’s largest wind turbines, + is using a factory in Baotou to seek more orders from the desert buildout. So far, this is all a good news story. But tomorrow I will cover the other half of the article, about contemporaneous plans for coal in China. Sadly, not so pretty a picture.
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