Remote Corner of China Launches 32 Clean Energy Projects Valued in Billions

Feb 7, 2023 11:07 AM ET
  • Alxa League, a sparsely populated region of Inner Mongolia, is investing 169 billion yuan into clean energy projects, including a massive 86-billion-yuan power base in the Tengger Desert.

What happened? 

Officials from the Alxa League region of Inner Mongolia held a signing ceremony on Sunday for 32 clean energy projects, with a total investment of around 169 billion yuan. The centerpiece of the projects is an 86-billion-yuan power base in the Tengger Desert, which will include wind turbines, solar panels, solar thermal plants, fossil-fuel generators, and pumped hydro energy storage. According to Xinhua, some of the projects will start construction this year and be connected to the grid in 2025. 

Why does it matter? 

This massive investment into clean energy is part of President Xi Jinping's plans to use China's vast, unpopulated interior to host 450 gigawatts of clean electricity transmitted to urban centers by long-distance power lines. Alxa League has about 230,000 people living in a 266,000 square kilometer area, much of which is desert. About a third of the land is suitable for clean energy development, and regional officials have long-term plans to develop more than 100 gigawatts of renewables, enough to power Australia. 

What's next? 

In December, work started on a separate 80 billion yuan wind, solar and coal project in another part of Inner Mongolia. With the Alxa League projects, China is continuing to make progress towards its goal of transitioning to clean energy and reducing its carbon emissions. The projects are expected to be completed and connected to the grid by 2025.



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