(UR) China — The solar energy revolution has begun, as the world’s biggest coal plant will now generate a whopping 1 gigawatt (GW) of solar and thermal energy – without resorting to fossil fuels.

U.S.-based SolarReserve just signed an agreement with the Shenhua Group of China to build one of the world’s largest solar thermal 24-hour a day power plants. This contract is part of the 13th Plan of Five-year National Development by China that outlines installing 10,000 megawatts (MW) of concentrated solar power; but more importantly, it means the world’s largest coal-producing plant is turning to cleaner energy because it is finally more cost effective.

China was also likely tired of choking on pollution caused by fossil fuel power. The China Central Television headquarters in Beijing has been hidden behind a cloud of smog, and China has been dealing with 1.2 million to 2 million deaths a year — not from car accidents, cancer, or homicide, but air pollution.

China is also planning to reduce its fossil fuel use significantly while promoting clean energy. Power suppliers will be able to trade “green certificates” that represent the proportion of non-hydro renewable energy that they generate, according to the country’s National Energy Administration.

The clean energy rebellion has to start somewhere, and while San Diego just decreed that all new buildings, both commercial and residential, must be solar-ready, the world’s largest coal plant is going solar, too. Even environmentally irresponsible companies like Walmart are installing solar panels. Solar is expected to boom more than 119 percent, just this year. That means Big Oil is facing an insurgency like it has never seen.

Previously, moves to switch to clean energy from fossil fuels have been thwarted because fossil fuels cost less; but solar is getting more affordable all the time.

Dubai just experienced a record-breaking low in solar pricing with 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour. “Dubai Electricity and Water Authority will conduct an expansion of the iconic Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, with the lowest solar price bid in history, for an 800 MW solar PV project that expands on 213 MW,” according to CleanTechnica.

The U.S.’ solar installations have grown seventeen-fold from 1.2 GW to an estimated 20 GW today — enough capacity to power the equivalent of 4 million homes — and 16 GW of new solar are also set to be installed this year, enough to power roughly 3.1 million homes. That’s up from 7.3 GW in 2015, which was also a record, according to the analysis by research and consulting group GTM Research and trade group Solar Energy Industries Association, but we still have a long way to go to break the addiction to fossil fuels.
The petrodollar pushing plutocracy of the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Warburgs, Lehmans, Goldman Sachs, and Seif is nearly over. Shell, British Petroleum, Chevron, and Exxon better find a new game.

This article (China Transforms World’s Largest Coal Plant into Solar & Thermal Powerhouse) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Christina Sarich and UndergroundReporter.org. If you spot a typo, please email the error and the name of the article to undergroundreporter2016@gmail.com. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Bobak