Showed prestige project to the Royals

Solar Power China Royal Couple prestige projectHM Queen Sonja photographs with her smartphone when she and HM King Harald visited the gigantic solar power plant Gansu Dunhuang Solar Park on Friday, which Chinese authorities have built in the desert at Dunhuang. The plant is China's largest solar power plant and one of the largest in the world. The royal couple received a tour of the plant and could look over thousands of solar panels and mirrors that reflect the sun up to an energy-producing salt tower. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

The Chinese showed prestige project to the Royals

If climate issues are to be solved, China must move to greener energy The Royal Couple had a close encounter with one of the solutions on Friday, namely a gigantic solar power plant. This is a prestige project for China that they wish to showcase to the world.


Flanked by the local party secretary, the Royal Couple was shown around the massive solar power plant that the Chinese authorities have built in Dunhuang, Western China. The prestige project is China’s largest solar power plant and one of the largest in the world. The Royal Couple could look out over thousands of solar panels and mirrors that reflect the sun up to an energy-producing salt tower.

Both the Norwegian King and Queen seemed enthusiastic and interested and asked several questions along the way.

Green city

The plant is owned by the local authorities in Dunhuang and consists of two parts. The older part is a traditional solar power plant made up of solar panels, while the new uses mirrors for heating salt and the energy is then converted to electricity.

– The reason we invited their Majesties here is as we wish to showcase this technology. We want Dunhuang to become a flagship for green energy, says local party secretary in the Communist Party in Dunhuang, Zhan Shun Zhou.

– President Xi Jinping has pointed out that solar and other clean energy is the key to improving the energy sector in the country.

On questions from the Norwegian press, if there has been a lot of effect of global warming in the city, which is located in the middle of the Gobi desert, Zhan answers that he personally has not noticed any change in recent years. He instead shows that the amount of rain and groundwater in the area has increased in recent years.

Large environmental problems

Sustainability, climate and the environment are key issues during the ongoing state visit in China.

Professor of China Studies at UiO, Mette Halskov Hansen, says she has seen a positive development in China in recent years in understanding climate issues. The same goes for the prospects for cooperation on the environment field.

She believes China is interested in learning and researching together with Norway in this field.

– It is a field that is extremely important for the whole world, including China. They are very hard hit by climate change and have major environmental problems. This is an area where they are very interested in collaborating with Norwegian research communities, she says.

Wishes for real cooperation

Hansen points out that the world is unable to solve the climate problems without China.

– I think it is imperative that we get real cooperation with China on climate and environment in connection with the state visit, the researcher continues.

Environmental issues will be on the agenda during the nine-day state visit which lasts until October 19th.

Sustainability is one of two issues at a Norwegian-Chinese social science symposium that his majesty the King will open in Beijing. Later, sustainable ocean management, green shipping and solutions to prevent marine littering on the agenda during a large business seminar in Shanghai.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today