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The Chinese province of Qinghai has tested whether it can run entirely on renewable energy for a week. With a population of 5.8 million, they hoped to see if the electricity grid could maintain itself without the use of fossil fuels.

Though small, this may be a significant step in understanding whether renewable energy can provide a full, viable alternative to the use of fossil fuels. Quan Shenming, the general manager of the Qinghai Electric Power Corporation, hopes that this pioneering week will be an important way to promote clean energy in China. If China were to switch to renewable energy, or even at least take steps to become more green, then this would not only cut carbon emissions significantly, but would use as a powerful signal to other countries who are perhaps more reluctant to change their sources of energy production.

During the trial, hydro-electric energy schemes accounted for more than 72 percent of electricity used in Qinghai, whilst being supplemented by solar and wind resources.

Local government and environment officials are hoping that the energy generated in the province will eventually be used to power areas in central and eastern China.

Geography students may want to think about which countries are more advanced than others in their environmental advances. Students taking science subjects, more specifically Chemistry, may want to look at the way in which we develop new advances, and the research that goes into the process. Politics students may want to think about Trump’s recent decision to opt out of the Paris Agreement, and how that will affect both the US’s and the worldwide stance on climate change.

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