The Chinese government is planning to build renewable energy power projects, with 450GW of total capacity, in the Gobi Desert and other desert locations to meet its sustainability targets.

Reuters reported that as part of this initiative, the government aims to develop both solar and wind energy projects in the region.

China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) director He Lifeng was quoted as saying: “China is going to build the biggest scale of solar and wind power generation capacity on the Gobi and desert in history, at 450GW.”

Lifeng said that ultra-high voltage electricity transmission lines, as well as coal-fired power plants, would be required to ensure the stability of the power grid to support such large-scale renewable energy installations in the country.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has already committed to increasing the country’s renewable energy capacity to at least 1.2GW by 2030, as well as ensuring its carbon emissions peak by the same year.

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Reuters reported that by the end of last year, China had installed 306GW of solar capacity and 328GW of wind energy capacity.

The news agency added that around 100GW of solar capacity is currently being built in the desert area.

Last week, Chinese Vice Premiere Han Zheng said that China should utilise coal’s ‘basic guaranteeing role in energy supplies’.

In its work plan for this year, which was released on 5 March, the NDRC said the country would ‘continue to leverage the peak-shaving and basic supporting role of traditional energy, especially coal and coal-fired power’.

In January, the State Grid Corporation of China reportedly started work on the Fengning complex, a 3.6GW pumped storage hydropower plant in Hebei province.

The hydropower facility features 12 pump generating sets, each of which has 300MW of capacity and is installed at an underground location.