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Chinese Province Successfully Delivers 100pc Renewables Grid Test

29 Jun 13:00 by Steve Walia

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Qinghai, a province in China with 5.8 million inhabitants, has managed to operate entirely by using renewable power for a week in order to test whether the electricity grid could operate effectively without traditional fossil fuels.

Hydropower schemes generated nearly three-quarters of the province's total electricity between 17 and 23 June, augmented with solar and wind power. The breakdown was assessed and confirmed by Climate Action, with operates alongside the UN's Environment Programme to share awareness and information about the new green energy technologies that are being used instead of fossil fuels.

A spokesperson from the Qinghai Electric Power Corp said that the state had been excited to lead the way with a trial of this nature - the first of its kind in China, and a significant step in transforming China's energy mix and supply. 

During the period, 1.1 billion kWh was used and generated from clean sources. To generate a comparable amount from fossil fuels, over half a million tonnes of coal would be needed. 

Just the previous month, Qinghai managed to produce almost 83pc of its total electricity from clean sources, with a mix of hydro, wind and solar. It has total installed capacity of c. 23 million kW, with plans to grow combined wind and solar energy capacity within the next three years to 35 million kW. 

Clean energy generated in the area will also be supplied to parts of eastern and central China. The Chinese central government is gearing up to invest around £288 billion in clean energy technologies by 2020. In the process, they will create over 13 million new skilled jobs and help to continue the country's move from a net emissions polluter to an increasingly clean energy provider that leads the way globally in renewable technology.