26 June 2017

Chinese province runs on 100% renewables for 7 days

The Qinghai Province, located in Northwest China, has successfully run on 100 per cent renewable energy for seven continuous days, as part of a trial conducted by the State Grid Corporation of China.

The trial – which ran from 17 June to 23 June – saw the entire province generate all of its power needs with clean energy sources, including solar, wind and hydro power.

The trial in the Qinghai Province – which has a population of around 6 million people – was deigned to prove that fossil fuels will not be required in the future, according to local reports.

Quan Shenming, General Manager of Qinghai Electric Power Corporation, a subsidiary of State Grid Corporation, said: “Being the first trial of this kind in the country and a major step in the transformation of energy supply, it will be of great importance in promoting the use of clean energy in China in a sustainable and effective way.”

Quan Shengming detailed that during the seven day period electricity use was 1.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), the equivalent of 535,000 tonnes of coal.

Hydro contributed as much as 72.3 per cent of the electricity, with new energy sources including wind and solar providing the balance, said Han Ti, Vice General Manager.

Qinghai has ample resources for solar and hydro power generation.

As of May 2017, Qinghai’s power grid had a total installed capacity of 23.4 million kW, around 82.8 per cent of which came from solar, wind and hydro power.

According to the provincial 13th Five-Year Plan, the Qinghai Province plans to expand its solar and wind capacity to 35 million kW by 2020 and supply 110 billion kWh of clean electricity every year to central and eastern parts of China, Xinhua News said.

Han said: "Clean energy is the ultimate way. We need to reduce reliance on fossil fuel, improve our energy structure, and reduce carbon emissions."

China plans to invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($366 billion) in renewable energy technologies by 2020, creating more than 13 million jobs, according to the National Energy Administration (NEA).

In the first quarter of 2017, China installed an impressive 7.21 gigawatts (GW) of new solar capacity.

Total installed solar capacity now stands at around 85 GW – according to the NEA.

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