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Green Energy From China: Solar Lakes

Plane flying over solar panels in China

China’s presence in the green economy is seen as two-faced. For one, it remains one of the most polluted places on earth and is two-thirds dependent on traditional coal mining – a dirty and damaging source of energy. On the other, China projects an image of being a technologically advanced and forward thinking nation keen on leading the green energy race when it comes to producing solar energy.

The floating solar panel lake attracts hordes of observers, potential buyers as well as possible investors every day.

China’s leadership claims that the environment-choking coal mines are shutting down one by one, and will soon be replaced by more sustainable sources. One good example is in Liulong, central Anhui in China, once the heart of coal country, but now boasts a 40-megawatt power plant. A collapsed coal mine turned into a mile-wide lake and became a bed for over 160,000 solar panels capable of supplying energy to a nearby city.

The provincial government of Anhui has plans to expand to dozens of sites, in effect generating as much power as a commercial nuclear reactor. This move supposedly reflects China’s intention to advance in the renewable energy race now that America has taken two steps back.

Liulong, China’ solar panels are hailed as the world’s biggest floating solar farm. These boldly advanced and wave-proof panels were launched about the same time as President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from the Paris climate pact.

This places China at the head of the pack in terms of green leadership– a model for other countries to emulate. More importantly, China proved to the world that they have the infrastructure and expertise to supply this kind of technology to power-hungry nations.

China Solar Panels – A Business Model

picture of solar panels on a lake with China map in the background.
Once a collapsed coal mine, the lake supports more than an acre of solar panels.

Sungrow, the company behind this floating solar power plant in China, has pioneered research and development of solar inverters. The solar industry in China employs more than 1 million workers – both for local installation and for export to India, Saudi Arabia, and other fast-growing solar panel markets. Their main advantage is being able to offer products in bulk and at dirt-cheap prices.

Reports already peg China as the dominant figure in the production of low-carbon energy technologies. It produces almost 50% of wind turbines used all over the world. China solar panels can also be found globally – having been designed to withstand conditions in very hot deserts or humid jungles – making them adaptable to practically any weather condition.

The floating solar panel lake in China, attracts hordes of observers, including potential buyers and possible investors every day. It’s considered a technological marvel and a bold, timely step in the right direction.

At the rate it’s going, China is stepping in where the US has left off.  They’ve already laid out a bold and ambitious $1-trillion global plan called “One Belt, One Road”. This aims to bankroll green projects across Asia, East Africa, the Middle East, all the way to Eastern Europe. It not only nurtures economic and diplomatic ties with the global economy but also positions China to be the perfect trade partner and supplier for green initiatives.

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