China Water Energy Solar Power Renewable Industry Economy
Photo © Toby Smith/Reportage by Getty Images for Circle of Blue
Solar energy installation under construction in the Gobi Desert.

In 2009, China launched a program to build the nation’s first big solar power projects, which produced two 10-MW photovoltaic power installations in Dunhuang, at Gansu’s far northern end. More than a dozen other solar energy projects — totaling 280 MW — will be completed this year.

Two of these, generating 50 MW each, will be installed in the Dunhuang solar energy production zone. The China Ministry of Science and Technology projects that there will be 20 GW of solar generating capacity nationwide in 2020; 30 percent will be installed in Dunhuang.