China Builds The World’s First Panda-Shaped Solar Farm
In China, the panda is a symbol of peace, harmony, and friendship. That makes it the perfect choice to represent a new initiative to expand green energy in the country. Over the next five years, as part of President Xi Jinping’s 21st-century Maritime Silk Road economic policy, Panda Green Energy will install multiple power plants across the country disguised as adorable cartoon pandas.
The first panda plant recently went up in Datong, China, and features a jolly looking bear with eyes that look in separate directions. The black parts of the panda are made with monocrystalline silicone solar cells, with the gray and white tummy and face composed of thin film solar cells. Over 25 years, the 100-megawatt plants will be able to offer 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of green power, reducing carbon emissions by 2.74 million tons and saving 1.056 million tons of coal.
But the solar pandas aren’t just there to be cute. They are a fantastic way to promote sustainable energy to China’s youth. In addition to the spectacular solar pandas, the new Panda Power Plant has a youth activity center where school children can learn about the benefits of sustainable energy.
“By designing the solar power station into the pattern of a panda, we aim to stimulate teenagers’ interest and enthusiasm for solar energy application,” China Merchants New Energy Group CEO, Alan Li, said at the 2016 G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting. “To cope with the climate change, we should not only appeal to the governments and companies, but also need to motivate every household, getting the next generation involved in, thus making joint efforts for a green future.”