Solar power plant
China has announced the construction of its largest-ever solar plant in the Gobi desert. (Representative Image)Reuters

Energy through solar power is gaining currency in Asia. China has announced its biggest solar plant that will be coming up in the Gobi desert in the country's Qinghai province.

The new plant will be spreading across 2,550 hectares (about 26 km). The construction work for the plant has started and it will have 200 megawatts capacity when completed.

This new plant will reduce China's dependence on coal-powered plants, cutting down about 42.60 lakh tonnes of coal usage annually. This will allow the country to reduce carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide emissions.

In addition to being a clean energy alternative, the new plant will be supplying power to nearly 10 lakh households.

"Its designed heat storage is 15 hours, thus, it can guarantee stable, continual power generation," said Wu Longyi, chair of the Qinghai Solar-Thermal Power Group, reported Sputnik News.

For the first time, a private entity will be operating a plant, which is believed to be the largest solar power generating facility in China for commercial purposes.

It was also reported that the solar power tower system is much more effective in terms of efficiency and energy storage in comparison with the trough system that is commonly used around the world.

China has drastically increased the production capacity of solar power plants between 2005 and 2015. The increase has been 400 fold, to about 28.05 gigawatts. By 2020, China plans to increase it to 100 gigawatts.

The US is the home to the largest solar power plant in the world, based in Desert Center, California. The Desert Sunlight solar project has a capacity to produce 550-megawatts of power. The US has mandated that 33% of total energy by 2020 should be generated from renewable resources. 

China's neighbour, India too is embarking on using solar energy as it reduces dependence on coal based power plants. The largest solar power plan is the Welspun Solar MP project, spread across 305 hectares that has a capacity of 130 megawatts in Bhagwanpur, Madhya Pradesh.

India too plans to increase its capacity to produce 100 gigawatts by 2022.

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