For the first time ever, China’s National Energy Administration in January established a mandatory target to reduce coal energy consumption. It also set a goal for clean energy to meet 20% of China’s energy needs by 2030. Analysts expect China to easily meet that target.
There’s been a lot of skepticism about whether renewable energy can produce all our future energy needs, but the Chinese province of Qinghai has already reached that goal. According to news outlet Xinhua, for seven days — from June 17 to 23 — the region ran on 100% renewable energy, including solar, wind, and hydropower.
“Even in China where coal is — or was — king, the government still recognizes that the economic opportunities of the future are going to be in clean energy,” said Alvin Lin, Beijing-based climate and energy policy director with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
China’s hottest new project is a giant floating solar energy farm located in the eastern province of Anhui. Covering about 100 square miles, it is the largest floating panel facility in the world and has the capacity to produce enough energy to power 15,000 homes, according to Sungrow Power Supply.
Coporation China, a Company Formation firm that deals with many clients approaching Asia to invest in renewable energy, states that more than 2.5 million people work in the solar power sector alone in China, compared with 260,000 people in the U.S. Moreover, “as the population in China gets more educated on green energy, decision making towards clean energy services and products becomes natural and intuitive.” says Arnodo Neto, Corporation China’s Regional Manager in Shanghai.
The week was part of a trial conducted by the State Grid Corporation of China, which aims to test the viability of relying on renewables long-term. During that time, the Qinghai province generated 1.1 billion kilowatt hours of energy for over 5.6 million residents. That’s equal to burning 535,000 tons of coal.