China sets up world's biggest floating solar power plant
Representational image of solar panels Reuters

China has activated the world's biggest floating solar power plant in the city of Huainan, in the central Anhui province. This comes at a time when Beijing is expected to take a bigger role in the global efforts to tackle climate change, after the United States pulled out of the landmark 195-nation Paris deal.

Sungrow Power Supply, the firm that built the facility, claims that the new plant can generate 40 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power as many as 15,000 homes.

The new solar farm that was connected to Huainan's power grid in May, is constructed on an area that was used for rigorous coal mining for years. The gradual sinking of the area and heavy rain thereafter created a lake, where Sungrow now have installed floating solar panels, ranging in depth from four to 10 metres.

The South China Morning Post reported that the capacity of the floating solar farm is claimed to be double that of another Huainan plant, which was previously considered to be the biggest in the world. However, Sungrow didn't disclose the exact size of the farm.

According to the country's National Energy Administration (NEA), China is currently considered to be the world's largest solar energy producer with a capacity of 77.42 gigawatts by the end of 2016.

Reports said that the solar power accounts for only one percent of China's energy output. However, this could soon change as the country has shifted its attention towards clean energy. Currently, renewables represent only 11 percent of China's energy use, but that number could go up to 20 percent by 2030.

Earlier this year, China had unveiled the world's biggest solar farm in a far-off region of the Tibetan plateau, in western Qinghai province. The facility, named Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, covers nearly 27 square kilometres, with an ability to generate energy to power 200,000 homes.

Meanwhile, China is also expected to play a bigger role in the global fight against climate change after the US retreated from the Paris climate agreement.