Clean energy galore powers China's quest for green future
After one year of operation, China's first ultra high-voltage (UHV) power superhighway for transmitting clean energy delivered 13.1 billion kWh of power from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, abundant in energy resources, to densely populated Henan in central China, according to State Grid's Qinghai branch.
As the world's first all-clean energy UHV power transmission project, the 800-kilovolt direct current transmission line became operational on July 15, 2020. It extends 1,563 km across four provinces.
It is a pilot project aiding China's pursuit of attaining carbon dioxide emissions peak before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060.
Construction of the project began in November 2018 and was completed in May 2020.
"It took only two years for the project to be completed, which refreshed the construction speed of similar projects," said Zeng Shengwei, who leads a construction crew of the project.
Compared with other power transmission systems, the UHV transmission has a larger capacity, bigger range, lower losses and uses fewer land resources.
Northwest China's Qinghai Province boasts rich clean energy resources. It has a vast expanse of land that can be used for setting up photovoltaic power generation facilities and wind farms, with the amount of exploitable solar energy exceeding 3.5 billion kW, accounting for 11 percent of the national total.
The line linking Qinghai and Henan is expected to start running at full capacity by 2023, offering 41.2 billion kWh of green power annually. The output is equivalent to one-third of the power generation of the Three Gorges Dam and accounts for about one-eighth of the current annual electricity consumption in Henan -- which has dense industrial clusters and is in huge demand for energy.
Henan Huarong Food Co., Ltd., which produces jam, dehydrated vegetables and beverages, is a big user of electricity in Shangcai County located in the city of Zhumadian, Henan.
Yue Chunchang, head of the company, said that in the past, due to power shortage, the company would receive a notice of power outage for at least one or two days when power consumption peaks in winter and summer. "We would lose nearly 300,000 yuan (about 46,380 U.S. dollars) if our production lines stop running for a day," Yue said.
But since the UHV line started operating, Yue said, the company never had to suspend production. "Now we purely use clean energy from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which can also reduce coal consumption."