China is building a huge photovoltaic (PV) solar power generation base in the Ulan Buh Desert, the country’s eighth largest desert, to boost new energy development.
The base is located in Dengkou County in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
A number of energy companies are expected to invest 4.9 billion yuan (797 million U.S. dollars) within three years in PV power projects with a combined installation capacity of 500 megawatts (mw), said Yuan Haiwen, deputy head of the county’s industrial park administration committee.
Investors include state-owned China Power Investment Corp. (CPIC), China Guodian Corp., Shenhua Guohua Power Co. Ltd. and the local Menghua Group.
A CPIC 50 mw PV power program began operation at the end of 2014.
Ecological rehabilitation will also be integrated in the base. An eight-meter gap between PV panels will provide space for sand grass, said Yuan.
China is the world’s largest energy consumer and it is concerned with environmental pollution and energy security.
Installed capacity of hydro, wind and solar power is expected to stand at 350 gigawatts (gw), 200 gw and 100 gw by 2020, respectively, according to the Energy Development Strategy Action Plan (2014-2020) published in November.