Cities all over the globe are pledging to switch over from fossil fuels for electricity by 2050. However, there is an inherent disbelief about renewable energy being able to produce all the future energy needs. In a new trial initiative, the Qinghai Province in northwest China has proved that an entire region could run solely on green energy.
The Qinghai Province ran on 100% renewable energy inclusive of solar, hydro, and wind power for seven continuous days from 17th June to 23rd June 2017 for around 5.2 million citizens in the region. This was said to be a part of a trial, which was conducted by the State Grid Corporation of China who was trying to demonstrate that fossil fuels could be eliminated for future energy needs.
Quan Shenming, General Manager of Qinghai Electric Power Corporation, a subsidiary of State Grid Corporation said in a statement recently that the first trial was a major step in the transformation of energy supply. He added that it would of great importance in promoting the use of clean energy in China in a sustainable way.
During the trial week, the electricity use amounted to around 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of which hydropower contributed to around 72.3%. This electricity use would have required around 535,000 tons of coal. The Qinghai trial supports the idea that the grid would remain stable without the need for coal or gas to supply base load energy.
It is expected that Qinghai would expand its solar and wind capacity to 35 million kW by 2020. Meanwhile, according to the Chinese National Energy Administration, China plans to invest around 2.5 trillion yuan in renewable energy technology by 2020. This would help create around 13 million jobs and also place China at the vanguard of renewable energy technology.