China Exclusive: Qinghai runs seven days straight on renewable energy alone

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-19 22:01:06|Editor: Zhou Xin
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XINING, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Northwest China's Qinghai Province has started a seven-day program to run solely on renewable energy.

From June 17 to 23, Qinghai will use renewable energy alone, supplied by wind, solar and hydro power stations, according to Han Ti, vice manager of the provincial grid company. The province is home to 5.8 million people.

Han said the grid would not completely shut down coal-fired power plants in the province, because it would be too costly to do so. Rather, coal-fired electricity would be transmitted to neighboring provinces.

During the seven-day period, electricity consumption in the plateau province, bordering the Tibet Autonomous Region, will be fully covered by clean energy, he said.

Located at the source of China's major rivers, Qinghai has strong hydro-power and solar supplies.

By May this year, the power grid of Qinghai had a total installed capacity of 23.45 million kilowatts, about 82.8 percent of which was supplied by hydro-power, solar and wind power.

"This is the first time in China that a province runs solely on renewable energy for a long period of time. We believe it will raise awareness on cutting emissions and promote the development of clean energy nationwide," Han said.

According to the provincial 13th Five-Year Plan, Qinghai plans to expand its solar and wind capacity to 35 million kilowatt by 2020.

By then, Qinghai will be able to supply 110 billion kilowatt hours of clean electricity every year to central and eastern parts of China.

China's enthusiasm for clean energy is pushing the global transition toward a low-carbon future.

China plans to invest 2.5 trillion yuan (about 368 billion U.S. dollars) in renewable energy projects during the 2016-2020 period, creating more than 13 million jobs in the sector, according to the National Energy Administration.