Innovation trends

Panda as an innovative green energy source By Innovation Cloud - 4 min read

Panda as an innovative green energy source

I am a panda. Chinese national treasure. But I am not an ordinary cute, furry, eating a bamboo panda. I don’t move, I eat sun rays, I am humongous, and I am an innovation. How come?

One day in 2015, a 15-year-old girl named Ada Li Yan-tung came with an innovative idea of involving me in the solar energy industry. She shared her vision about me at a youth climate conference and explained how I can contribute to making green technology more interesting for young Chinese people. That’s how it all started.

China the leader  

Now, we all know China is the leading investor when it comes to renewable energy. Here are the facts:

  • In 2017, China invested 126.6 billion dollars in this sector, which is 30% more than in 2016.
  • It’s solar capacity is the world’s biggest – a staggering number of 130 gigawatts.
  • It is a home to the largest solar farm on the globe, Tenger Desert, whose capacity is over 1,500 megawatts.
  • It is dominant in building new PV plants, meaning 46% of all new solar power plants on the planet in 2016 were born in China.
In addition, China loves me lots. Therefore, it is not that surprising somebody came up with the following idea – Building a huge solar-energy farm in the form of a panda, me. I have charm, and I seemed like a perfect character for making solar technology less strict and monotonous, but more innovative and attractive (or should I say instagramable). 
Panda the feeder
My creators are the Panda Green Energy Group, one of the country’s largest developers in the sector of solar energy, and the United Nations Development Programme. Together they formed a Panda Power Plant. I came to live on 29th June, 2017 in the hills of Datong, Shanxi Province. 

Here are some important facts about me:

  • I am the first solar power plant in the shape of a panda. My smaller friend joined me a bit later.
  • I am made of thousands of black and grayish white solar panels.
  • I occupy about 248 acres of land.
  • My capacity is 100 megawatts.
  • 52 million dollars were invested in me.
  • I can provide a 3.2 billion kWh of clean electricity during 25 years, meaning I can eliminate around 1.06 million tons of coal, decreasing the amount of carbon emissions by 2.74 million tons. 
  • I have a potential of generating power for more than 10.000 homes annually.
  • You can see me only from the air.
  • I share the fame with a little friend of mine, so we are actually two pandas smiling at everybody flying above us.
Now you know why I’m such a special innovation. I am cute and I am a sustainable power system. But this wasn’t the only panda project for long, because my creators decided there will be 99 more solar pandas across the country. That’s the mission – going global! The second one was completed in October 2017, in Guigang, Guangxi, having a 60 megawatts capacity. Panda Green Energy Group announced there will be designs such as panda and rugby combo in Fuji, and a panda with a maple leaf in Canada. So, my black and white cousins are going outside the borders.
This kind of innovative actions are really meaningful since they provoke other initiatives like in this case: encouraging youth to design solutions for green development by participating in design contests, organizing summer camps with the focus on innovative science and technology, and making exchange programs to enable `marginalized` young people go abroad. 
I am genuinely proud to be a part of this significant global green concept, after all, loving green is in my genes – green bamboo, green energy - it couldn’t be wrong. Datong Panda Power Plant is an example of how a traditional element can be used in an innovative way, how people must apply innovations even when it seems like a crazy idea. Ideas are valuable, they are the way to improvement and progress.

Keep them coming, and if you need a safe place to make your ideas organized and create value, check out the Innovation Cloud platform.

If you ever fly over Datong, China, I’ll be waving and smiling at you!


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