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Economic Watch: Continuous efforts to pursue a green path

Economic Watch: Continuous efforts to pursue a green path
Aerial photo taken on Feb. 16, 2022 shows a photovoltaic power station in Yongren County in southwest China's Yunnan Province. Credit: Xinhua/Chen Xinbo

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Only relying on solar power, all of the energy supply including heating and electricity can be guaranteed in the Zero Energy Building, a representative of green attempt architecture in north China's Tianjin Municipality.

"No matter how cold the weather is, the whole building could always keep constant temperature and humidity," said He Rui, a staffer of Tianjin's Binhai branch of State Grid, one of the developers.

"Considering the roof structure, beam angles, and surrounding environment, we installed 60 photovoltaic panels totaling 20 kilowatts. Under good lighting conditions, the photovoltaic system can generate 60 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity every day," He said.

According to He, the building's production capacity of renewable energy is greater than or equal to its energy consumption, enabling it to achieve "zero energy consumption" without any external energy input.

The white building, covering more than 130 square meters, stands for a small step of China's continuous nationwide efforts to pursue a green path as the country aims to peak its carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

China launched its national carbon trading market, the world's largest in terms of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions covered, on July 16 last year, marking a significant step to reduce its carbon footprint and meet emission targets.

The market ran for 114 trading days in 2021, reporting a total trading volume of 179 million tonnes and nearly 7.7 billion yuan (about 1.2 billion U.S. dollars) in turnover, said the Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange.

North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region started a large-scale photovoltaic power construction project in the Kubuqi Desert, the country's seventh-largest desert, last October, which is estimated to realize a total installed capacity of approximately 2 GW.

Located in the city of Ordos, the project is expected to cover approximately 6,700 hectares and achieve its full grid-connected power generation capacity before the end of 2023.

The project will log an annual average of more than 4.1 billion kWh of on-grid electricity, thus helping save over 1.25 million tonnes of standard coal or slash 3.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Compared with thermal power, the new energy generation has brought a total emission reduction equivalent to afforestation of 180,000 hectares so far in Inner Mongolia.

The construction of a zero-carbon industrial park in the city of Ordos has been stepping up. The park, including fan equipment manufacturing, battery production, and a hydrogen energy industrial chain, is expected to achieve an annual output value of 100 billion yuan after it is put into operation within this year.

"Eighty percent of the energy in the park comes directly from wind power, photovoltaics, and energy storage. The other 20 percent benefits from a cooperation pattern in which surplus energy would be sold to the grid when too much power is produced, and the stored green energy would be retrieved from the grid when needed," said Zhang Lei, CEO of Envision Group, developer of the park.

"In this way, we could achieve a 100 percent zero-carbon energy supply while ensuring safe and low-cost electricity consumption," Zhang said.


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