Tibet Leads Nation in Solar Energy Development
Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, which enjoys over 3,000 hours of sunlight every year, has placed first in the country in terms of solar energy development and use, according to a local expert.
Seven major photoelectric stations with their installed capacities ranging from 10 kw to 100 kw have been built in Tibet, dubbed the "roof of the world," said Du Enshe, head of the Solar Energy Research and Demonstration Center of Tibet.
With special financial allocations from the central Chinese government, the plateau region has launched a number of programs in the past years to advance power generation via solar energy andto ease the power shortage in the region's countryside.
Last year, the State Development Planning Commission, now knownas the State Development and Reform Commission, allocated 810 million yuan ((97.59 million US dollars) to support construction of smaller power stations in 300 villages in Tibet.
Power is now within reach to 70,000 residents in the electricity-thirsty Ngari Prefecture of Tibet, where a scheme to transfer sunlight into power was completed by the end of last year.
Thanks to the development of solar energy, electricity has become available to 200,000 people in Tibet. Solar energy is also used for heating and cooking.
Using solar energy can save Tibet 135,000 tons of coal annually,according to Du.
(Xinhua News Agency August 28, 2003)