Panda Powered Awareness Boost for China’s Youth
China has been the world’s leading installer of solar PV since 2013, with a total capacity at the end of last year surpassing 77.4 GW, which could point to a nation well aware of the benefits of clean energy sources.
Still, a new United Nations Development Program-backed project has set out to raise awareness amongst the younger generations of the importance of renewables by shaping solar farms like pandas.
The 50 MW, 248-acre first phase of the Panda Power Plant in Datong was built by China Merchants New Energy Group and was connected to the grid on June 30, PV magazine reported. Over the next 25 years, the farm is expected to produce 3.2 billion kWh of energy, eliminating the need for around a million tonnes of coal to be used to generate electricity and reducing carbon emissions by 2.74 million tonnes.
Formed of black single crystalline silicon solar cells produced by a local company and white thin-film solar cells shipped in from the US, the panda-shaped solar farm may be the first of many as there are plans to build similar panda power plants in Fiji, the Philippines and elsewhere.
The UNDP-backed project includes planned initiatives for the future including running summer camps for youngsters at the plant to teach them about solar energy, sustainable development and other environmental matters.
Photo: United Nations Development Program