China’s latest energy megaproject

China has some of the worst air pollution in the world. In several cities, thick layers of smog are common, resulting in thousands of deaths every year.

According to a 2016 study, the top contributor of air pollution-related deaths in China is the burning of coal. The team of Chinese and American researchers behind the study said that pollution from coal caused 366,000 premature deaths in 2013.

To improve the country’s air quality, the Chinese government vows to spend at least $360 billion on clean energy projects and create 13 million new renewable energy jobs by 2020. China is already one of the world’s biggest investor in alternative energy sources like solar, wind, and hydropower.

 

Solar panel capacity

Solar panel capacity

Solar panel capacity is set to overtake nuclear worldwide for the first time within the next few months, according to expert predictions.

The total capacity of nuclear power is currently about 391.5 gigawatts but the total capacity of photovoltaic cells is expected to hit 390 gigawatts by the end of this year with demand growing at up to eight per cent per year, according to GTM Research.

While this would be a landmark moment for renewable energy, nuclear still generates much more electricity than solar – nearly 2.5 million gigawatt-hours a year compared to the latter’s 375,000 gigawatt-hours.