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China makes a 'major strategic decision' that will impact the whole world: '[It's] based on our sense of responsibility'

The project is operated by China Energy Investment Corporation.

Ultrahigh-voltage power transmission channel, connecting the Tengger Desert

Photo Credit: iStock

In a bit of good news for the globe, China is using its dusty deserts to help clean up its act. 

China Daily reported a first-of-its-kind, large-scale renewable power project in the Tengger Desert in the Ningxia Hui region connected to the grid and started generating power earlier this year. 

The project is operated by China Energy Investment Corporation and is one of many being set up in the Gobi Desert and other arid regions of the country. 

The Good News Network reported that the Chinese government outlined its intention to install 100 gigawatts of renewable energy — particularly solar and wind in the desert regions — by 2026 in its recent Five-Year Plan. 

This project is the first phase, which reportedly has an installed capacity of 1 million kilowatts and is expected to generate 1.8 billion kilowatt-hours annually. For reference, that equals the power needed to run 1.5 million households.

The project is also China's first ultrahigh-voltage power transmission channel and is transmitting clean power to the Hunan province, an area that is home to over 66 million people. 

This is great news for the planet, considering China is the largest producer of planet-warming gases. BBC News reported that 2019 data from Rhodium Group showed that China emitted 27% of the world's toxic heat-trapping gases, an amount higher than that of all other developed nations combined. 

China also relies heavily on coal power, with 1,058 coal plants operating in the country — over half of global capacity. Coal and other dirty energy sources are the largest contributors to Earth's rising temperature, accounting for over 75% of all polluting gases and almost 90% of harmful carbon pollution, according to the United Nations.

China pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2060, with a peak no later than 2030, and China Daily reported that an analyst said abundant wind and solar resources in regions like Ningxia will play a crucial role in boosting the proportion of clean power in the country's energy mix, helping the country achieve its emissions ambitions. 

In 2021, the BBC reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping said: "This major strategic decision is made based on our sense of responsibility to build a community with a shared future for mankind and our own need to secure sustainable development." 

So far, China seems to be making good progress on its promise.

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