The project will reduce CO2 emissions by nearly three million tons and cutting other emissions by 500,000 tons over the course of 25 years. Photo/CGTN
The world's first panda-shaped solar station has begun operating at full capacity in the city of Datong in northern China's Shanxi Province.
The Panda Green Energy Group began building this solar plant in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program in 2016.
The project is being promoted by the United Nations Development Program and will help keep the local environment clean in the years to come.
The solar power station has nearly 170,000 panels, covering an area of over a million square meters. Over the next 25 years, it's expected to save more than a million tons of coal, and also reduce millions of tons of carbon emissions.
Built with black and off-white photovoltaic panels, the new solar plant has already reached an initial capacity of 50 megawatts and will produce 100 megawatts of clean electricity next year.
Li Entong, a 17-year-old Chinese girl studying in the United States, came up with the idea after she attended the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015.
Li said she loved pandas very much and would often pay attention to them on the Internet, adding that pandas were a symbol of China and peace and reminded people of animal protection.
Li is among around 50 teenagers currently taking part in a summer camp at the Panda solar station, which takes place from August 10-19.
It was initiated by the United Nations Development Program, aiming to foster youth leadership in tackling climate change.
Li said what she could do was to rouse more teenagers into action to protect the environment and tackle climate change.
The Panda Green Energy Group said it has plans to build around 100 similar plants in countries and regions along the Belt and Road, adding that the project is not just about using a fun image to get people interested in solar energy, but also about technological innovation.
Zhu Zhu, the director of the Beijing Office of the Panda Green Energy Group, said they have applied many technological innovations in the solar plant, and that it was actually challenging to use different kinds of solar panels and cells together to create a panda image.
Director Zhu also pointed out that his company faced high set up costs, and technology innovation is the key to making it more affordable in the future.