China’s first molten salt solar power plant goes online

China’s first molten salt solar power plant goes online

Molten Salt Solar Power project in Akesai in northwest China’s Gansu Province.
MOLTEN SALT SOLAR POWER IN CHINA. The Tianjin Binhai Concentrating Solar Power Investment Co. Ltd. said its 50-megawatt molten salt project in Akesai in northwest China’s Gansu Province shows the maturity of the commercial development of solar thermal technology. Image courtesy of Helio SCSP.

Beijing (dpa) China’s first molten salt solar thermal power plant began sending electricity to the grid on Sunday according to state media reports. The project in northern China’s Tainjin municipality is the first of several similar facilities that will together produce 200,000 kilowatts of annual solar power output by 2018, Xinhua news agency cited… Continue reading China’s first molten salt solar power plant goes online

Renewable Energy covers 100% of new demand in China

China covered all its new energy demand with renewable energy in 2015 – and there was still plenty left to spare

China is drawing evermore power from renewable energy. Greenpeace says the country's growth in wind and solar energy exceeded new electricity demand. Ningxia Wind Farm in northern China
China is drawing evermore power from renewable energy. Greenpeace says the country’s growth in wind and solar energy exceeded new electricity demand. Ningxia Wind Farm in northern China. Image credit Lang Rover Our Planet / Flickr

China installed half of the world’s new solar and wind capacity last year.

But the Chinese aren’t just beefing up their renewable capacity, they’re also cutting down on coal. The new clean energy power plants along with a shift away from heavy industry, mean that coal use in China has dropped over the last three years… Continue reading Renewable Energy covers 100% of new demand in China

Gongyuyan China: Villages reap benefits of ecological planning

Gongyuyan China – Villages reap benefits of ecological planning

Gongyuyan China The Gongyuyan scenic spot offers spectacular views including a stone forest and the Shenlong waterfall in Tianshi township, Xianju county.
Gongyuyan China. The Gongyuyan scenic spot offers spectacular views including a stone forest and the Shenlong waterfall in Tianshi township, Xianju county. Image courtesy of China Daily

“The government of Xianju, Zhejiang province, recognizes environmental protection requires more than pure policy-it’s also a battle for hearts and minds.

That said, none of these are mutually exclusive. Rather, the county has demonstrated they are symbiotic.

Upon realizing the underdeveloped county’s progress depends on ecotourism and organic farming, authorities set out to build consensus that green is the way to go.

“There were debates about why we should seek green development-and how,” says Xianju’s policy research department director Zhu Huwei.

“Now, people from the bottom to the top agree on this path. Our goals, strategies and practices are all based on this concept. People have already started to see the financial benefits.

“People used to believe economic development and ecological protection were inherently at odds. But they don’t need to be.”

The county’s GDP has grown rapidly over the past years, during which time tourism has doubled.

“Many other places developed fast but had to turn around later to deal with pollution,” Zhu says.

“We’ve been figuring out how to use our ecological advantages to develop rapidly over the past decade.”

This has led to the rise of a grassroots “ecological culture”, he says. Volunteer groups clear trash in rivers, valleys and mountains.

Zhejiang province recently designated the county as a pilot zone for the standardization of green practices because of its track record.

“We’re setting standards-what’s a green school, what’s a green hospital, what’s a green office,” Xianju’s Party chief Lin Hong explains.

“Sustainable development goes beyond government and business operations to include residents’ daily lives. For instance, do people shop with plastic or cloth bags?”

Lin also advocates the reduction of food waste and donations of secondhand items.

The government has introduced a “1-3-5” recommendation in which, one day a week, people walk to work if their jobs are closer than 3 kilometers and bike if they’re within 5 km.

Zhu says he rides rather than drives.

Public institutions and private enterprises are encouraged to agree to a “green convention” about behaviors they voluntarily assume.

Offices are encouraged to go paperless and print on both sides if physical copies are necessary. Workers are expected to turn off the lights and airconditioning when they, say, leave for lunch.

A system similar to the green convention offers guidelines for ordinary people.

Danzhu township has issued 10 suggestions for residents, including sorting trash, repurposing old items and refraining from littering.

“There isn’t a tradition of sorting garbage in villages,” publicity officer Zheng Yi says.

“We want to change mentalities.”

Teams inspect homes to see if they’re in compliance. Those who are receive small gifts, such as towels, detergent and thermoses. Households who separate kitchen waste and recyclable items earn 1 yuan (15 cents) a day after 30 days.

But it is more of an ethical than a material concern, Zheng explains. “If people’s morality is enriched, they’re more likely to engage in green behavior,” he says.

Villages also form women’s and Party volunteer teams to promote green behaviors.

A peculiar park in Xiachenzhu village bears testimony to the ethos. Four walls constructed with materials recycled from collapsed farmhouses stand in a field previously occupied by tombs, pigpens and a manure pit.

“We let the weeds grow so villagers appreciate nature,” Zheng says.

But while there are no punishments for violating the guidelines, Xianju has also introduced punishable environmental ordinances.

Villagers organize patrols of up to five people to monitor behaviors along waterways and in forests.

Fines ranging from 500 to 10,000 yuan are issued for illegal fishing, dumping trash, camping and fires along Xiachenzhu’s Weiqiang River, for instance.

It’s a question of guidelines versus red lines. “It’s a gradual process,” Lin explains.

“Interestingly, villagers have done a better job than urban residents. Although people in the city typically have more education … Supervision isn’t enough. We need to do more.” —  Xianju sets an example for clean growth — by ERIK NILSSON (China Daily)

When President Xi Jinping was serving in Zhejiang province 11 years ago, he said: “Lucid water and lush mountains are invaluable assets.” He was suggesting that a green environment would help people become wealthy. That statement has been turning into a reality in recent years in Xianju county, in southeast Zhejiang, as the county’s efforts… Continue reading Gongyuyan China: Villages reap benefits of ecological planning

UN chief praises China’s G20 summit leadership

The 11th G20 Summit is to be held on Sept. 4-5 in China’s eastern city of Hangzhou, is expected to make an action plan on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and to focus more on development issues with an aim to inject new impetus into the world economy and promote global consensus on development.

The theme of the summit is: “Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy”

G20 Summit, China - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon attends a press conference at the Climate Action Special Executive Session. Hangzhou, China
G20 Summit, China – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon attends a press conference at the Climate Action Special Executive Session. Hangzhou, China

UNITED NATIONS — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday spoke highly of the Chinese leadership in focusing the upcoming summit of the Group of 20 (G20) on promoting green growth and bolstering the presence of developing countries.

Continue reading UN chief praises China’s G20 summit leadership

China Holds First Nuclear Safety Drill

China holds first nuclear safety drill amid safety concerns

China nuclear power plants 2016
China nuclear power plants 2016. Image courtesy of www.nrdc.cn

Beijing (dpa) – China has held its first comprehensive nuclear security emergency drill to test and improve its incident response, authorities said Sunday. The drill, code-named “Fengbao-2016,” took place Saturday and did not have a pre-planned result in order to better test the effectiveness of security systems, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for… Continue reading China Holds First Nuclear Safety Drill