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Shanghai Fastener Expo Press Release_Belt and Road countries have huge solar energy potential: study

2019-07-16    Author:   Source:   Views:346    

A man wipes off dust on a solar panel installed on the roof of his house in Tianhe village, Northwest China's Gansu province, June 20, 2019. [Photo/IC]

WASHINGTON -- An international team led by Chinese researchers found that tapping solar energy and improving cross-border cooperation could help countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) leapfrog into a low-carbon future.

The study published on Thursday in the journal Joule made for the first time a quantifiable estimate of the renewable energy potential in BRI countries, revealing that less than four percent of the region's maximum solar potential could meet its electricity demand for 2030.

The researchers from Tsinghua University, Harvard University and other institutions selected 66 BRI countries that are connected geographically and they identified areas with sufficient solar radiation and lower land value, with places like forests and agriculture being excluded.

The team found that those countries can generate as much as 448.9 petawatt hour of solar energy, about 41 times the demand for electricity in those countries in 2016.

Also, the 2030 electricity demand for those countries could be met by converting only 3.7 percent of the region's solar energy and it would require an investment of $11.2 trillion and a land area of 88,426 square kilometers to achieve the goal, according to the study.

The study also showed that countries with more than 70 percent of the energy potential consume only about 30 percent of regional electricity, which makes the cross-border power transmission grids and therefore international cooperation necessary.

"The BRI is an opportunity as it sets up a framework for collaborations between countries, associations, and industries to happen. There are also funds and banks committed to promoting green development of the BRI, which provides financial support," said Lu.a

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