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Solar Power in the Sands: China's Clean Energy Revolution

China has been actively implementing various measures to combat desertification, a significant environmental problem in the country. Desertification affects around 27 percent of China's total land area, posing a serious threat to the environment, economy, and people's livelihoods.

In recent years, China has completed several major transportation projects across deserts, such as the Gobi desert and the Tacoma Con desert. These projects have involved the construction of highways and railway tracks. Additionally, China has employed tree-planting techniques to reverse desertification. The National Forestry and Grassland Administration reported that China planted 7.12 million hectares of trees in 2020, bringing the total forested area to 70.4 million hectares. These efforts have reduced desertification and helped combat climate change by increasing carbon sequestration and reducing soil erosion.



The construction of highways and railway tracks in the desert is a complex process that involves several stages. For instance, the recent opening of a new highway in China's Tacoma con desert serves as a good example of the involved process. The construction of the Yuli Kimo Highway began in October 2017 and took nearly four years to complete. The process started with surveying and designing the roadway, considering the challenging desert terrain, including tall sand dunes and low-lying areas.

Next, the construction teams cleared the land and prepared the foundation for the roadway. They used layers of different materials, such as gravel, asphalt, and concrete, to prevent the highway from being buried by sand. Grass grids covering 58 million square meters and over 900 kilometers of barriers were set up to stabilize the sand and prevent it from blowing onto the roadway.

Moreover, the construction involved the installation of infrastructure, including bridges, culverts, and drainage systems, to ensure the roadway's safety and usability in all weather conditions. Finally, the roadway was paved, marked with lane lines and signage, and opened to traffic, providing a faster and more efficient way for people and goods to travel across the desert.

Similarly, constructing the New South Xinjiang Railway, spanning 1,213 kilometers across the Tacoma con desert in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region required extensive land preparation before laying the tracks. This involved leveling, compacting, and stabilizing the land. Track laying involves using a ballast bed made of crushed rock and gravel to prevent sinking or shifting of the tracks due to shifting sands.

In both cases, grass grids and green barriers were vital in preventing desertification. Grass grids were installed to provide barriers against sand movement, while green barriers involved planting vegetation to anchor the soil and prevent erosion.

China's efforts in controlling desertification have shown remarkable success. Over the past decade, more than half of China's manageable desertified land has been restored, reducing the desertified area by more than 4.33 million hectares since 2012. China's forest coverage has also increased to 23.04 percent, up 2.68 percentage points from 2012. These achievements demonstrate China's commitment to combating desertification and protecting the environment.

Additionally, China has made significant strides in the adoption of renewable energy. For instance, the inauguration of the Al Karsa solar power plant in the desert area west of Doha, Qatar, marked a major milestone in the country's energy transition. The plant, built by a joint venture of three Chinese enterprises, covers 10 square kilometers with around 2 million solar panels and has a capacity of 800 megawatts. This project aligns with Qatar's goal of diversifying its energy mix and reducing carbon emissions.

Furthermore, China's involvement in the construction of photovoltaic power stations along the Tyrium desert highway in the Tacoma con desert demonstrates the country's commitment to reducing carbon emissions and exploring clean energy alternatives.

In conclusion, China's efforts in combating desertification through various projects and the adoption of renewable energy technologies demonstrate the country's commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. These initiatives have not only helped reduce desertification but also contributed to global efforts in addressing climate change and promoting green solutions for the future.



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