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Chinese enterprises explore sci-tech innovations for clean energy


Wind turbines in Dongying City, east China's Shandong Province, April 16, 2024. /CFP
Wind turbines in Dongying City, east China's Shandong Province, April 16, 2024. /CFP

Wind turbines in Dongying City, east China's Shandong Province, April 16, 2024. /CFP

In the midst of a powerful typhoon and turbulent waves, a 12-megawatt wind turbine operates steadfastly, harnessing nature's force to generate clean energy.

This impressive sight unfolded on the screens in the laboratory of Mingyang Smart Energy Group Co., Ltd., a new energy company headquartered in Zhongshan City in south China's Guangdong Province, as researchers simulated the operation of wind turbines under typhoon conditions.

Typhoons are frequent along the southeast coast of China, posing a significant challenge for wind power facilities to avoid damage while generating more power during these storms.

"In the field of new energy, achieving typhoon-resistant wind power is akin to a 'moon-landing' challenge that needs to surmount very tough technical barriers," said Zhang Chuanwei, chairman of Mingyang Smart Energy.

Drawing from extensive operational data in typhoon zones, the company's research and development team conducted detailed analyses of wind speeds, directions and turbulence. "These insights have been integrated into our turbine designs, ensuring that they can endure typhoons while maximizing energy production," Zhang explained.

By 2023, more than 2,000 smart wind turbines manufactured by the company were deployed in China's typhoon-prone regions. When super typhoon Saola swept Guangdong Province last year, the company's self-developed offshore wind turbine in Zhuhai City successfully withstood winds exceeding magnitude 17, continuing uninterrupted operation.

In addition to typhoons, Mingyang Smart Energy has pioneered innovative solutions to harness wind energy under extreme conditions. These include segmented fan blades for mountainous Guizhou Province and specialized models to withstand sandstorms in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

China's goals of achieving carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060 underscore the critical role of science and technology in balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability.

Companies like Mingyang Smart Energy exemplify this effort, leveraging advanced technologies to drive clean energy initiatives.

In Fuyuan County in southwest China's Yunnan Province, digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI) have revolutionized wind farm operations.

A sophisticated control system, integrated with 3D simulations and real-time data analytics, has enabled remote monitoring and proactive maintenance of 135 wind turbines of Yunnan International Power Investment Co., Ltd.

"Previously, on-site inspections were necessary, but now, automated systems issue alerts for potential issues," said Peng Yiheng, a staff member of the wind farm, highlighting the transformative impact of intelligent systems on wind energy management.

According to data released by the National Development and Reform Commission, over the past decade, China's energy consumption per unit of GDP and its carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by 26.2 percent and 34.4 percent, respectively. Its installed capacities of wind power, photovoltaic power and hydropower have all ranked first in the world, marking a historic advance in green, low-carbon and high-quality development.

Building upon these remarkable strides in reducing energy intensity, the Chinese government has continued to roll out new measures to encourage industries to undergo a green and low-carbon transition. Experts anticipate that it will trigger a sci-tech revolution marked by decarbonization and promote a series of major sci-tech innovations.

According to Zhang Yongsheng, head of the Research Institute for Eco-civilization, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, with breakthroughs in big data and AI technology, China will fully unleash the huge potential of green development and continue to create miracles in green growth.

"China is an important force in promoting renewable energy," said Zhang Jian, vice president of the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Tsinghua University.

"With its technology, cost and scale advantages, China is well-positioned to lead efforts in combating climate change and promoting energy transformation in the future," Zhang added.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency
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