This hydropower station in China is 5,000 meters above sea level

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Maerdang hydropower station in China, the “highest-altitude facility of its kind,” is expected to begin operations in March 2024.

Massive hydropower station…

The state-run China Daily reports that Maerdang, which is currently under construction in Qinghai province, is at 5,000 meters (16,404 feet) above sea level, on the upper reaches of the Yellow River. For perspective, the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania stands at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level.

Maerdang’s operator, China Energy, says that the hydropower station will have a total installed capacity of 2.2 million kilowatts, and it’s expected to generate an average of more than 7.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year once it’s up and running. It’s the company’s first integrated renewable facility to include hydropower, solar, and energy storage.

China Energy says Maerdang will cut 2.56 million metric tons of standard coal equivalent consumption and 8.16 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

…but meanwhile, there’s coal

China is the world leader in renewable energy, yet it’s also the world’s largest coal miner and consumer. Its coal output rose by 5.8% in the first two months of 2023 from the same period a year earlier, government data showed yesterday. Reuters explains why: “A sharp increase in global coal prices and disruption of energy supply chains following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted Beijing to increasingly prioritize energy security.”

Read more: Check out the world’s second-largest hydropower station

Photos: China News Service


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