The Beijing Olympics have so far delivered only one branding message about China: polluted. But the Olympics are supposed to be China’s coming out party. So China has actually taken drastic steps to change that perception, at least temporarily (Renewable Energy World):
- sending a small flotilla of boats and some 10,000 people to scoop up the green muck polluting the waters off of Qingdao
- enforcing alternate day driving
- closing some of Beijing’s factories
- even using artillery to try to seed the clouds to produce rainfall to clear the air that Olympic athletes will be breathing in Beijing
China is also especially interested in displaying its newfound innovation and prowess in alternative energy:
- More than one quarter of all energy consumed at Olympic venues will come from renewable sources, including solar power, which will generate nearly 8 kWh of power for Olympic facilities and wind power, which will provide 20% of the power needs of the Olympic venues
- Suntech Power (STP) of Wuxi, Zhejiang Province provided the 130 kW solar system for the Olympic Stadium, also known as the “Bird’s Nest.”
- Canadian Solar (CSIQ), an strangely named Chinese solar company, provided 66MW of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) for the lampposts along Olympic Boulevard
- The wind farm that supply power to the Olympic venues in Beijing is Beijing’s first; it is comprised of 43 wind turbines (each 1.5 MW) developed and manufactured by a Chinese wind turbine company
- The solar energy hot water system installed in the Olympic Village is designed to provide sufficient hot water to satisfy the washing needs of the Olympics’ 12,000 athletes, trainers and other personnel, and to provide potable water.
- 80%-90% per cent of the streetlights in the vicinity of Olympic venues will be solar-powered.
And so on. So while China’s “green” Olympics may look like an alternate reality compared to the rest of the country, it is a monumental accomplishment. China is flexing its muscle, showing the world the power of renewable energy, and leading by example…even if it’s only for a couple weeks.
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