China To Build One Of World's Biggest Solar Power Stations

Part of strategy to increase renewable energy.

At a cost of $765 million, China intends to build one of the world's biggest solar power stations state press reported Nov. 21. The 100-megawatt facility, to be built in Dunhuang, an oasis town in northwest China's Gansu province, would be a collaborative effort between the local government and Beijing's Zhonghao New Energy Investment, Xinhua news said. The project will take five years to construct.

China, which signed the Kyoto accord in 1998, is the world's second-largest emitter of climate-change gases after the U.S., and the world's largest coal burner. About 70% of China's energy comes from burning the fossil fuel and hundreds more coal-fired power plants are being built every year.

China has set goals for renewable energy to account for 16% of its overall energy production by 2020 and to increase energy efficiency per unit of GDP by 20% over the next four years. However, already there are signs that those targets are being missed, with energy per unit of GDP rising by 0.8% in the first half of the year, according to government figures.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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