The construction of the second phase of China's largest renewable energy power base in the Gobi Desert and other arid regions has commenced, marking a crucial milestone in the nation's ongoing shift from coal dependence to renewable sources for power generation. Industry experts have hailed this initiative as a pivotal step towards achieving China's ambitious sustainability goals.
The operator, China Energy Investment Corp, also known as China Energy, officially initiated construction in the Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region on Tuesday. This expansive project, nestled in the heart of the Tengger Desert, boasts a remarkable total installed capacity of 2 gigawatts. Its anticipated annual output of approximately 3.96 billion kilowatt-hours of clean electricity promises to play a pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions. It is estimated that more than 1.2 million metric tons of standard coal will be conserved, accompanied by a reduction of over 3.29 million tons in annual carbon dioxide emissions.
This endeavor represents the second phase of the project, with the first phase already operational and contributing to the country's clean energy generation. The initial phase, with a substantial installed capacity of 1 million kilowatts, was successfully connected to the grid and commenced power generation in July. By the end of September, it had generated more than 1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.
With a primary focus on large-scale wind and solar power development, the entire project boasts an impressive total installed capacity of 13 million kilowatts. This endeavor stands as China's first response to the government's call to expedite the construction of solar and wind power generation facilities in arid regions, including the Gobi Desert. The ambitious undertaking is poised to support regions such as Ningxia, Xinjiang Uygur, and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions in transitioning towards a new energy-based structure, as noted by Luo Zuoxian, head of intelligence and research at the Sinopec Economics and Development Research Institute.
According to the National Energy Administration, China has witnessed a consistent rise in newly installed clean energy capacity during the first seven months of the current year. Solar power capacity, for instance, has expanded by an impressive 42.9 percent year-on-year to reach 490 million kilowatts, while wind power capacity stands at approximately 390 million kilowatts, indicating a substantial year-on-year increase of 14.3 percent.