By Ben Tracy
Scott Pruitt, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, declared Monday that “the war on coal is over.” He told an audience in Kentucky that he plans to repeal an Obama-era rule that limits carbon emissions from power plants that burn coal.
China, on the other hand, is doing the opposite. Coal is on the way out and solar power is coming in.
On a farm in northern China, they are planting a new crop: Nearly 200,000 solar panels in the heart of coal country.
In the south, China flipped the switch on the world’s largest floating solar installation — built on top of a lake created by an abandoned coal mine. Projects like these helped China double its solar capacity last year. It is now twice as big as the U.S. capacity.
Nearly half of all the solar installations in the world are now happening in China and they’re doing it quickly. Greenpeace says they are installing the equivalent of a soccer field full of solar panels, every hour of every day.
“We have 28 solar power plants in operation in china and three more are under construction,” said Maggie Qiu, the executive president of Panda Green Energy. It has installed enough solar panels to power more than 40 million homes.