China is building a huge energy cluster of wind turbines and solar panels.
Two years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping intrigued his compatriots and foreign experts by announcing the launch of an ambitious project to transition the country towards the massive use of renewable energy. Thus, Beijing decided to make its solid contribution to global efforts to save the environment and combat global climate change. “When we protect nature, it rewards us. When we exploit it mercilessly, it punishes us with the same cruelty,” Xi launched a new slogan to the masses. However, only now have details emerged about what exactly the authorities are doing to protect nature.
It turned out that in northern China, famous for its desert expanses, on an area of 7,000 hectares, giant blocks of solar panels and a large number of wind generators are being built very quickly. Earlier this month, workers had completed construction of about a third of the planned capacity in the Kubutsi Desert. This area is ideal for green energy: it is very windy and has many sunny days a year. Furthermore, the absence of large settlements and nearby farmland makes it easier to occupy land for large-scale construction.
As a result, the total capacity of the Chinese superplatform for the use of solar and wind energy will reach an impressive 455 gigawatts. This impressive volume will surpass similar clean energy figures in any other country in the world.
STOP SMOKING THE ATMOSPHERE
Beijing’s “green” campaign promises to radically change not only the structure of China’s own energy sector, but also China’s foreign trade priorities. China remains the biggest polluter on the planet, but in 15 years it will surpass peak fossil fuel use and then begin to steadily reduce its dependence on energy imports. Considering that a good part of them now comes from Russia, we have something to think about. Furthermore, the main objective of the Chinese in this area is to completely abandon hydrocarbons by 2060.
And one more important point. Faced with the growing threat of trade restrictions that the United States and the European Union may impose against China, the “desert” group created will not only set new standards in the field of renewable energy, but will also help strengthen domestic demand for its own technological products.
“This is surprising,” said Cosimo Rice, an energy analyst at Trivium China in Shanghai. – There is nothing in history with which this project can be compared.
Well, here’s the problem: China will produce electricity, but to get it from the northern deserts to consumers in different parts of the vast country, hundreds of ultra-high-frequency power lines will need to be built. So far, in China there are just over 30 such routes (by the way, the Chinese are also world leaders in this matter), but they are clearly not enough. Creating a dense network of lines will require time and large financial investments: more than 10 years and 300 billion dollars.
The country already had a sad experience in the early 2000s, when an earlier, albeit minor, surge of interest in “green” sources revealed a major problem: billions of dollars of equipment simply sat idle due to the inability of the grid to cope with a sharp increase in energy production.
BET ON THE NEW
Although China’s solar and wind power capacity is already the largest in the world, its needs are so great that renewable sources provide only about 10% of its electricity, with the rest still coming from coal plants. However, the authorities are not willing to dramatize this situation. Xi Jinping, with purely Chinese wisdom, described it like this: “Create the new before discarding the old.” And the bet on the new is finally made. In Beijing they not only think about the environment and the danger of global overheating, but, above all, about the security of their own country. According to all forecasts, within a hundred years, or even sooner, the Earth’s reserves of oil, coal and gas will be exhausted, and production and life itself will have to be sustained by “green” energy. Well, also nuclear, of course.
“The energy cluster in the desert will be a big step forward and we will advance even faster,” Liu Hanyuan, founder of the solar panel manufacturer Tongwei, does not hide his ambitions. – China will completely switch to the production of alternative types of energy before all other countries.
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