As the sun set, Sonam Drolma rode a motorcycle, following a herd of sheep as they went towards home on the lush green grounds of a photovoltaic power generation park covering an area over 100 square kilometers located in the Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China’s Qinghai Province.
“Since the solar panels were installed here inside the photovoltaic power generation park, and thanks to the efforts taken by the park to improve the local ecological environment, several pieces of wasteland have been turned into grassland, and we have embraced a better life thanks to all of these,” said Sonam Drolma, a local herder.
In recent years, the Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture has explored a new model to control desertification by developing a local photovoltaic industry. As a result of these efforts, the area of desert and sandy land in the locality has been continually shrinking.
By combining photovoltaic power generation with ecological conservation and animal husbandry, the park has protected the local ecological environment and restored the ecology of the grassland.
In recent years, Qinghai has quickened its steps toward the development of clean energy. The Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, which receives strong sunlight radiation and boasts an average 2,719 hours of daylight throughout a year, and which has been characterized by its vast deserts and wasteland, offers natural advantages for developing a photovoltaic industry.
The photovoltaic power generation park, together with the Longyangxia hydropower station, which is about 50 kilometers away, combine to represent a hydro-solar project that has the largest installed capacity for generating electricity in all of Qinghai.