Gobi, desert tapped to be clean energy dynamo
China's plan to further optimize its energy mix by building massive wind and solar power facilities in the country's Gobi and other desert areas will facilitate the country's ambition of reaching more than 1,200 gigawatts of installed solar and wind capacity by 2030, said an analyst.
China has been working on a massive renewable energy project, with its first phase comprising 100 GW of wind and solar in the desert having recently launched operations, President Xi Jinping said via video link at a United Nations biodiversity conference on Tuesday.
This is the latest effort by the country to accelerate the planning and construction of large-scale wind and solar projects while simultaneously promoting the adjustment of its industrial structure and energy structure.
The first phase of solar and wind projects is more than the entire wind and solar capacity installed in India, according to BloombergNEF, and it will be able to generate four times as much power as the Three Gorges Dam, it said.
As China plans to peak carbon emissions by 2030, aided by a series of supportive measures, Wei Hanyang, a power market analyst at research firm BloombergNEF, said the country's plan to build massive wind and solar power projects has added to the country's momentum to meet its carbon pledges and biodiversity-friendly ecosystem plans.
Wei said western parts of the country enjoy massive wind and solar resources, while existing and planned power lines may also increasingly link green projects to major demand centers in coastal provinces.
"Thanks to the policy, the northwestern region, which boasts massive Gobi and other desert areas, will substantially benefit from the resources," he said.
Following an announcement last year that China aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and peak carbon emissions by 2030, BloombergNEF has forecast that the country's deployed solar capacity could reach 4.2 terawatts by 2050.
Many of the country's State-owned enterprises, including State Power Investment Corp and leading oil refiner China Petrochemical Corp, are all involved with the giant renewable energy projects.
SPIC said it is currently going through the construction of several photovoltaic projects in the western parts of China with more to come by the end of this year.