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China Launches World’s Largest Solar Farm in Xinjiang Desert

China has connected the world’s largest solar farm to the grid, located in the Xinjiang desert. The 5-gigawatt solar farm, built by the Power Construction Corp of China, spans 200,000 acres and will generate 6.09 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power Papua New Guinea for a year.

Xinjiang, a sparsely populated region rich in solar and wind resources, has become a hub for massive renewable energy bases that supply power to China’s densely populated eastern seaboard. The project is part of China’s efforts to expand its solar power capacity, with an investment of over $130 billion in 2023 alone.

This solar farm surpasses the previous largest operational solar facilities in western China, the Longyuan Power Group’s Ningxia Tenggeli desert solar project and China Lüfa Qinghai New Energy’s Golmud Wutumeiren solar complex, both with a capacity of 3GW.

China’s solar sector has been growing rapidly, with the country’s wind and solar capacity expected to outstrip coal for the first time. The cost of solar panels in China has also plummeted, making renewable energy more competitive with fossil fuels.

This development showcases China’s commitment to increasing its renewable energy capacity and reducing its reliance on coal, aligning with its goals to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

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