China sees disputed territory becoming a cornerstone to its solar-powered future

The disputed territory of Tibet, known in China as the Tibet Autonomous Region, is poised to become the country's leading solar power generation base with 10 photovoltaic power plants to be completed the end of the year.
China sees disputed territory becoming a cornerstone to its solar-powered future

According to a report in the Global Times, a tabloid produced under the auspices of the official Chinese Communist Party newspaper, the People's Daily, the total investment in the new plants will approach $308 million.

The 100 MW array of facilities will take advantage of Tibet's ample solar energy resources to ease the plateau region's power shortages, said Wang Haijiang, a noted researcher on Tibet's energy development.

Construction of most of the new plants has begun, including a 30 MW solar photovoltaic generation plant in Xigaze prefecture, about three kilometres northwest of Tibet's second largest city Xigaze.

Upon its completion this month, the plant will generate up to 20.23 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, said Wang.

Meanwhile, a 10 MW solar photovoltaic generation plant is being built in Yangbajing, a town 90 kilometres northwest of the regional capital Lhasa, with a designed power generation capacity of 430 million kilowatt-hours during its 25-year life span.

Tibet has abundant solar energy resources, with an average 3,000 hours of solar radiation annually, or about 6,000 to 8,000 megajoules per square meter, the newspaper said.

Today, the region's installed 9-megawatt solar photovoltaic generation system accounts for 13 percent of China's total.

Tibet's regional government estimated solar power helped save at least 162,800 tons of coal equivalent last year.

China's total domestic demand for solar photovoltaic energy was around 500,000 kilowatts a year, according to the National Energy Administration (NEA), the country's top energy planner.

China plans to expand the solar PV energy market gradually, to about 5 million kilowatts installation capacity in 2015 and 20 million kilowatts in 2020, according to the NEA.

For additional information:

Global Times

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