China – 10-megawatt solar energy plant built in Tibet

The construction of a 10-megawatt solar power plant in Sangri County, Tibet funded by Suntech Power Holdings Corporation is now in progress, and it will be completed by the end of June 2011. This is another major solar power application project after the construction of a 10-megawatt solar power station kicked off in Shigatse last month.

The solar power plant is located in Chikang Village, Sangri County 18 kilometers away from the county town. Suntech Power said after the completion of the project, the plant will be connected to the central Tibet power grid, and generate more than 20 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, which will greatly ease the local power shortage.

Tibet boasts the richest resource of solar energy in China. With an annual average of 3,000 sunshine hours, it enjoys the second longest sunshine time in the world only after the Sahara Desert. Thanks to heavy investments and progress in solar energy technologies, the electricity from solar energy has been widely used in the thinly populated farming and pastoral areas in Ngari and Nagqu since the 1990s.

Currently, various countries in the world are taking the development and utilization of solar energy as an important trend of energy development. The European Union, Japan and the United States have put stress on the use of renewable energy, such as solar energy, when discussing energy supply security after 2030.

It is expected that solar power will account for more than 10 percent of the world electricity supply in 2030 and will account for more than 20 percent in 2050. The vigorous exploration and development of solar energy will become the mainstream of the future energy utilization.