It has been reported that Qinghai, China’s fourth largest province, has gone for one week using only renewable sources of energy, including wind, solar and hydro power. According to China’s official Xinhua news agency, during the seven days from June 17 to 23, the province consumed 1.1 billion kilowatt hours of energy, which is equivalent to burning 535,000 tons of coal.
Qinghai, which lies mostly on the Tibetan plateau, is an enormous but sparsely populated region. By May this year, renewable energy already provided 82.8% of power for the province’s 5.8 million people. Han Ti, vice-general manager of the provincial grid company, stated that “clean energy is the ultimate way. We need to reduce reliance on fossil fuel, improve our energy structure and reduce carbon emissions”. Qinghai’s one week on green energy demonstrates how far it is possible to go using nothing but renewables.
Under its provincial 13th Five-Year Plan, Qinghai is going to expand its solar and wind capacity to 35 million kilowatt by 2020 and supply central and eastern parts of China with 110 billion kilowatt hours of clean electricity annually. By the same time, China plans to invest 2.5 trillion yuan (about 370 billion U.S. dollars) in renewable energy, spearheading the global transition towards a low-carbon future.