Tibet’s solar energy potential equivalent to Sahara Desert and equatorial regions

Solar Power Station in Shigatse, Tibet. (Photo courtesy: tibet.cn)

(TibetanReview.net, Apr29’21) – Apart from its enormously rich resources such as mineral ores, hydrology, forestry, tourism, and numerous others, occupied Tibet is immensely valuable to China in another key resource: solar power. The annual solar radiation volume in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) is equivalent to 240 billion tons of standard coal, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Apr 29, citing data from its latest scientific expedition on the Tibetan Plateau.

The findings from the second comprehensive scientific expedition on the plateau, reported by China Meteorology News, was stated to show the capacity of photovoltaic power generation in Tibet’s areas below an altitude of 5,000 meters to be 12 billion kilowatts, with the total size of regional areas that had the potential to develop solar energy exceeding 340,000 square kilometres.

The report said high-quality PV power generation exploitation was mainly concentrated in the east central area of Shigatse city, the northwestern area of Lhokha city, the south central area of Tibet’s capital Lhasa and the western area of Ngari prefecture.

The report cited Shen Yanbo, a senior engineer with the China Meteorological Administration, as saying the TAR had abundant water, sun, wind and geothermal energy resources.

“It is essential to properly develop and use these clean energy resources in the region, and efforts to accelerate research on the complementary aspects of water, wind and solar energy is expected to play a lead role in China’s goal of achieving carbon peak and neutrality,” Shen was quoted as saying.

The report said the potential of the TAR’s rich solar energy resources for development and utilization was equivalent to that in the Sahara Desert and equatorial regions.

The report said clean energy accounted for nearly 90 percent of power generation in the TAR by the end of last year. It said the region planned to provide 6.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to 11 provinces and cities of China within the next three years.


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