China is literally floating its solar energy fututre atop of its coal-burning past.

Literally: The farm, big enough to cover 160 American football fields, floats atop an abandoned and sunken coal mine. How’s that for metaphor? Located in Anhui province near the city of Huainan, Sungrow Power Supply will be providing enough energy for 15,000 homes, twice the energy of the now second-largest floating solar farm. That’s in China too, nearby, built by Xinyi Solar in 2016. The country invested $1.9 billion US in R&D for renewable energy in 2016, $900 million more than the US. It’s also producing 13 million new jobs with this investment.

Did You Know?

  1. With the US pulling out of the Paris Accord, China is well poised to lead the world in green energy solutions.
  2. China will spend $360 billion on renewable energy projects by 2020, more than any other country or region.
  3. By 2022, China intends to produce 320 gigawatts of wind and solar power and 340 gigawatts of hydropower.
  4. By 2030, the country expects renewable energy to account for 20% of its power by 2030.
  5. Another project, in the Ningxia Autonomous Region, will have 6 million panels and produce 2 gigawatts of power.
  6. The Sungrow Power Supply farm is more energy efficient than others, using the water underneath to cool and clean the panels.
  7. The lake under the farm ranges from 13 to 30 feet deep.
  8. Floating solar farms preserve land for other agricultural and developmental uses and are essentially “free” space.
  9. The massive solar farm was built to be modular, shipped in 20-foot segments.
  10. China isn’t hoarding the wealth: it’s working with a company to convert the Chernobyl ruins into a solar plant.

Sources

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Amber Healy

Amber Healy has been writing, both personally and professionally, since she nagged her hometown paper to give her an internship in 1996. She's a big believer that the most fascinating stories are hidden under layers of seemingly boring drivel.