The largest offshore floating power plant in the world is currently being built, and China is the country making it happen.
China is serious about taking the global leadership position in solar energy. As proof of this, China Three Gorges New Energy Corporation, based in Beijing, just ploughed one billion yuan (equal to US$151 million) into what is going to be the largest floating solar power installation in the world. It is currently under construction in Anhui, a province in eastern China.
The new power plant project is being built in a location that is highly symbolic to China’s own full-speed-ahead move to renewable energy options wherever possible. It is being set up on the surface of a lake that formed after one of China’s coal mines collapsed.
The project is being carried out by inserting solar panels on floats put in a fixed location on the lake’s surface. When it is finished, the solar power plant will produce 150 MW of power. That is similar to what would in the past have required 53,000 tons of coal, with all the pollution, toxic waste and hazards to the miners and plant workers that go with it. Using solar power instead of coal will also eliminate 199,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Putting solar panels over water helps mitigate global warming by preserving land for carbon absorbing vegetation and reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the underlying water.
The plant, which began construction in July 2017 and will be complete in May 2018, is a high priority for the Chinese government. China, which has actively been taking a lead position in championing reduced emissions and renewable energy to combat global warming, has taken an even stronger position since the United States pulled out of the Paris Agreement and is committed to increasing its emissions.
The second largest floating solar power plant in the world was also built by China – and is also in Anhui. It is the 40 MW installation put in place some time ago by Chinese renewables provider Sungrow. China is also moving forward with another (70 MW) project in the same province, this time via another Chinese solar enterprise, CECEC.
As China takes the lead in looking upward for energy sources – and renewable ones at that – the United States, under Trump, continues to stick its head deeper in the ground as it gives in to the needless and dangerous demands of the U.S. fossil fuel industry.
Last year, in addition to withdrawing from the Paris Agreement (now the only country in the world to do so), it rolled back emissions regulations for fossil fuel plants, eliminated monitoring requirements to track dangerous methane leaks, opened up federal lands for oil and gas exploration, made further giveaways to the absolete coal power industry, chopped the size of national monuments and – its latest move – approved destructive oil & gas development in the fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Trump is expected to also roll-back even vehicle emissions standards in his mad orgy of pollution and add further import duties on solar panels made in China.
All these insane moves were made by the Trump regime under the guise of "protecting America’s energy freedom". Tragically, there is no need for what the Trump gang has done, since more than enough energy was produced during renewable growth actions under the Obama administration to ease the United States out of any dependence on foreign oil.
Trump and his gang can't seem to grasp the reality that solar and wind are vastly less expensive and harmful in the short-term and long-term than carbon or nuclear energy.
Solar and wind power would enable America to truly gain greater freedom from a decaying, expensive and obsolete energy system that throttles the economy.
It is hard for many Americans to accept this, but the planet should be thankful that China, the largest polluter in the world, is doing something big about changing the course of its contributions to global warming – especially since the United States, the second largest such polluter, has chosen to add to global greenhouse gases on a large scale.