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Tibet Leading China in Solar Energy Use

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/12/16; December 16, 2001.]

XINHUA ECONOMIC NEWS SERVICE
Xinhua is the official news agency of the People's Republic of China

LHASA, Dec 15, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- With a two megawatt solar energy capacity the Tibet Autonomous Region has become a leading region for making use of various forms of energy.

According to statistics, the alternative energy replaces the consumption of 127,000 tons of standard coal, worth 100 million yuan (12 million US dollars) annually.

Tibet is on a plateau 4,000 meters above sea level and so is closer to the sun than anywhere in the world. It has 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, with 185 kilocalorie per square centimeter of solar irradiation, the highest level in China.

Since the 1980s, Tibet has launched a series of projects for wider use of solar energy in its sparsely-populated region. It now owns China's largest solar power station with a capacity of 100 kilowatt, said Ou Xiaohua, deputy director of the regional Solar Energy Research Institute.

The development of solar energy has changed the life of local Tibetan herdsmen, who are now able to use electric light, receive radio and television in some regions and pump drinking water for both people and animals. The use of solar energy reduces consumption of wood which helps protect the fragile ecological system in the region.


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