Solar energy with a smile

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World’s cutest solar energy farm
By Carmen Loren
A massive solar installation in the shape of a panda was recently opened near Beijing in China. This interesting initiative was devised by the Panda Green Energy company, and they say that the goal of the design is to interest children in how clean, renewable electricity can be generated. But perhaps more important to the Chinese authorities is that this panda-plant is a way to get positive international attention, as they try to leave behind their image as a highly polluting country with hundreds of coal power plants. Moreover, given the rejection by Trump of the United States’ commitment to the Paris Treaties, China wants to be seen as a leader of the green revolution.

China currently accounts for 25% of global electricity production via solar cells, and has more than doubled its installed capacity in the past two years. Compared to existing fossil fuel plants, the panda-plant will save one million tons of carbon dioxide that would otherwise have been emitted over the next 25 years. This is just the first of several future solar plants that will be in the shape of animals. Panda Green Energy is promoting this project as part of China’s "Belt and Road" plan. The company wants to construct these animal shaped plants in all of the countries that were part of the traditional Silk Road.


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