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China starts building its largest solar plant

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Beijing, China has begun constructing its largest solar power plant spread over 2,550 hectares in the Gobi desert.

The plant will come up in Qinghai province. Nellis_AFB_Solar_panels

The plant will have an installed capacity of 200 megawatts, and be capable of supplying electricity to 1 million households, according to Qinghai Solar-Thermal Power Group.

“Its designed heat storage is 15 hours, thus, it can guarantee stable, continuous power generation,” Xinhua quoted group board chair Wu Longyi as saying.

Once operational, the plant will slash standard coal use by 4.26 million tonnes every year, reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide by 896,000 tonnes and 8,080 tonnes, respectively.

The solar power tower system boasts higher efficiency and better energy storage than the more commonly used trough system.

The plant will also be China’s first large-scale solar power plant under commercial operation, said Yu Mingzhen, vice director of Qinghai development and reform commission.

China has been focusing on increasing its proportion of clean energy. By 2014, the country’s solar power capacity was 28.05 gigawatts, 400 times more than 2005, and there are plans to increase this to around 100 gigawatts by 2020.

(IANS)

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350 Chinese Cities Get Better Air Quality

In the first three quarters of this year, 7 out of 20 cities with the worst air quality were in northern Shanxi province

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Officials told CNN that the Chinese military did not intercept the US aircraft during their mission.
South China Sea, Pixabay

More than half of China’s cities saw air quality improve year-on-year in September, the Chinese Environment Ministry has said.

The average density of PM 2.5 stood at 25 micrograms per cubic meter in September in 338 cities, down 16.7 per cent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

These cities enjoyed good air quality on 90.8 per cent of the days last month, up 2.6 per cent, Xinhua news agency said.

Air Quality
Air pollution can also damage your kidneys. wikimedia commons

The world’s most populous nation has over 600 cities and is grappling with chronic pollution which kills about one million people annually.

China is the world’s biggest coal producer and alone burns half of it, leading to severe pollution. The country is also the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world.

However, the government has cracked down heavily on the polluting industries, shutting many of them. In July, the government released a three-year action plan to tackle the problem.

It also punishes top officials for not doing enough to rein in pollution.

Beijing is no longer the world’s most polluted city.

Air quality

Air quality
Buildings are seen on a hazy day in Xiangyang, Hubei province, China. VOA.

In the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the share of days with good air quality in September stood at 79.2 per cent, a year-on-year increase of 27.8 percentage points, while the PM 2.5 density of the region dropped by 33.3 per cent on year to 36 micrograms per cubic meter, the Ministry was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

In the first three quarters of this year, 7 out of 20 cities with the worst air quality were in northern Shanxi province, China’s coal-producing hub.

Also Read: Sundar Pichai Clears Google’s China Centric Plans

According to the action plan released in July, by 2020, emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide should have dropped by more than 15 per cent over the 2015 levels, while cities that fail to meet the requirement of PM 2.5 density should see a decline of more than 18 per cent from 2015 levels. (IANS)

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