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China may be a powerhouse when it comes to producing solar panels and wind turbines, but only Broad Group and Elion Resources have committed to 100% renewable energy
China is the world's leading producer of solar panels and wind turbines, but Chinese companies have been slow to go green themselves. Just two Chinese companies are among the 122-strong RE100 coalition of businesses that have pledged to go 100% renewable.
The first Chinese company to join was Elion Resources Group, which has committed to going 100% renewable by 2030. The company, which is involved in eco-restoration projects in the Kubuqi desert in Inner Mongolia and other ecologically fragile regions along the Silk Road Economic Belt in China, is working with UN Environment to address desertification, and at the same time identifying opportunities for renewable energy development.
Apple has installed 500 megawatts of renewable capacity in six provinces
Elion is developing its own solar energy, biomass and biogas energy projects and is exploring developing large-scale solar parks in the desert as well as on-site solar power projects.
The other Chinese member is the Broad Group, which produces a range of technological and sustainable products that are sold around the world, including air conditioning systems that use non-electric air chillers. Its sustainable building arm specializes in prefabricated buildings that can be assembled quickly, at lower cost, with less pollution.
Elion's greening of the Kubuqi desert is seen as a model for land restoration. (Credit; China.org.cn)
According to a recent progress report from the Climate Group, which leads the coalition, Broad Group reached 40.1% renewable electricity consumption in 2016, well on track to meeting its interim target of 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2045.
Another 23 RE100 members are using renewable power in their Chinese operations. These include Carlsberg Group, which has installed 8,000 solar panels in its facility in Dali, enough to cover 20% of its electricity needs, and Apple, which has installed 500 megawatts of renewable capacity in six provinces and is working with its suppliers to add 2 gigawatts more by 2020.
Main picture credit: Elion
This article is part of the in-depth briefing China’s New Dawn. See also:
China solar panels RE100 Broad Group Elion Resources UN Environment