BEIJING, Nov. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- China’s solar energy industry is developing rapidly. Now, solar power stations in Hebei Province are making new attempts to combine recycling and agriculture with solar power plants.
China’s northern plain encountered its worst cold wave in years as the winter began. That could be a nightmare for pig farmers, but pig farm manager Cheng Zhenting isn't worried at all. That's because all his hog houses are heated with solar power that costs him almost nothing.
"The project is called the “Golden Sun”, and we joined in 2009. The government provides funds for the solar power station, and in return we sell the power generated at a lower price to the grid for a period of 20 years," said Cheng Zhenting, Guoxiang Farm, Dingzhou City.
Instead of using a boiler to provide heat, these solar panels on the roof of the hog houses provide basic electricity for the farm and nearby villages. The power generated by this solar power station could on average support 100 households for a month.
There are plenty of crops that could grow between these panels, including corn, Chinese cabbage, potatoes, and even herbal medicines. "The output could reach 70 to 80 percent of common farmland. We are testing different kinds of crops as well as the layout of the solar panels," said Zheng Weiqing, technician of Guoxiang Farm, Dingzhou City.
The concept is to adjust the spacing and height of the solar panels for different crops and to choose the crop based on market considerations. The output is adequate thanks to the sandy land here. Pig farms and those that produce crops meet occasional setbacks but there still is a steady income flow generated by the solar power panels.