The ninth International Summit on Solar and Wind Energy in West China opened Wednesday in Northwest China’s city of Lanzhou, bringing together 150 experts from China, Israel, Pakistan, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.
China’s experience with renewable energy can be shared with and used by other developing countries, experts attending a UN-sponsored workshop on clean energy said Wednesday.
The summit is sponsored by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, or UNIDO, the United Nations Global South-South Development Center and China’s Ministry of Commerce.
“This year’s conversations are focusing on the future of renewable energy in developing countries, as well as the promotion of sustainable industrial patterns,” said Liang Dan, a senior advisor with UNIDO.
Liang said China has made considerable progress in developing solar and wind energy in its arid northwest region, devising creative technology suitable for tough natural conditions.
“In Gansu, one of China’s driest regions, solar energy is used not only to generate electricity, but also to boost agricultural production,” Liang said.
In the arid Hexi area, the production of potatoes and corn increased by 30 percent after new farming techniques that maximize sunlight were introduced, experts said.
Liu Shu, an expert on desertification prevention, said the same technology can also be used in other arid regions, which cover about one-third of the world’s total land area.
“These regions have similar geological conditions to Northwest China and have been suffering from poor grain output,” Liu said. “Through the creative use of solar energy, food problems can be solved without harming the environment.”
UNIDO organized a trip to Africa for several of its participants earlier this year to help prepare for the summit.
Xi Wenhua, director of the UNIDO International Solar Energy Center for Technology Promotion and Transfers, said Chinese solar equipment has become very popular in many African countries, adding that Beijing is expected to increase related aid for the continent.