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China Forges Ahead with Solar First

27 Feb 09:00 by Steve Walia

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NASA has released incredible satellite photos that show the largest solar wind farm in the world, located in China's Tibetan Plateau.

The images track how the Longyangxia Dam Solar Park in Qinghai developed from a tiny cluster of pilot solar panels to eventually become a vast and sprawling clean energy development with over four million solar PV panels in only four years.

The solar farm is 27km square and the largest of its kind in the world. In fact, it is nearly the size of Macau and can produce 850MW of clean power, which is sufficient to meet the power needs of 200,000 homes. The photos led to amazement on social media, although they weren't available to users in China, where platforms such as Facebook are banned.

This project is the latest of China's large-scale solar power developments. There is also a 300-hectare solar panel project in Zhejiang. The progress of solar power generation in the country means that the government expects to remove subsidies entirely by 2025.

Last year, it was reported that six million solar panels would be installed in a 2GW capacity farm in the Ningxia region. This will then become the biggest solar development project in the world. China is the biggest solar power producer in the world by installed capacity. By the end of last year it had 77.4GW of installed capacity, according to the National Energy Administration.

The country has gone from being a heavy polluter with a reliance on damaging fossil fuels to a rapidly growing green economy which is already leading the way on the global stage in solar production. The country's main advantage - alongside its topography - is its ability to build solar PV panels at a low cost.