Solar Power Coming to Northern China

As the evidence of global climate change continues to show us that we're not just facing a warming world, but one warming more quickly than we thought even a few years ago, all eyes are on China. While the Chinese have invested heavily in coal and nuclear power, they've also demonstrated that they're moving aggressively into renewables as well. On Friday, ChinaDaily.com reported that the country has formed a partnership with German-based Solar Millennium AG to build China's first large-scale commercial solar plant:

The project, using solar-thermal technology provided by Solar Millennium AG, would have a capacity of 1,000 MW (megawatts) by 2020.

Total investment would be about 20 billion yuan (US$2.5 billion), according to the company.

An initial phase with a capacity of 50 MW would be built in "a short period" at a cost of around 1.3 billion yuan (US$162.5 million), said Wang Genshu, chairman of the Inner Mongolia Ruyi Industry Co Ltd.

Wang said they would invite strategic investors to come forward, both domestic and foreign, when the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) gives the go-ahead for the project, possibly next year.

"About 20 to 30 per cent of the total spending will be financed by investors, with the remaining coming from bank loans," Wang said.

He said a few companies, including foreign ones, have shown strong interest in the solar project.

The company plans to begin construction on the solar thermal plant by the end of the year. This is good news, as China's use of coal, by total tonnage, now outstrips that of the United States, and they're well on their way to becoming the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide. While we don't know if this project will slow down its emission of greenhouse gases quickly, it's certain encouraging to see Beijing rapidly developing the country's ample renewable resources. :: ChinaDaily.com via EcoFriend

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