In the first episode of our Green Power mini-series, we travel to the winter wonderland of Zhangjiakou in 2022—the year the city, along with Beijing, will host the Winter Olympics. Alongside this ambition, Zhangjiakou has set strong targets for renewable energy growth to combat the air pollution dogging the region. However, the city has been beset with a problem facing China’s renewable energy rollout across the board: its wind and solar energy is being wasted because the power grid continues to favor the existing fossil fuel fired power plants over new sources.
We chat with Anders Hove, Associate Director of Research at the Paulson Institute in Beijing, to learn how Zhangjiakou can overcome this problem of “curtailment” through integration in the broader Jing-jin-ji region—sending its excess green electrons to power electric vehicles in neighboring Beijing, for example. The solutions he describes extend beyond the Zhangjiakou predicament to all of China. Listen to find out what it will take for China to fully utilize its unmatched renewable energy resources before the 2022 Olympics. You can find the the Paulson Institute’s report Going for Gold: Championing Renewable Integration in Jing-Jin-Ji on this topic here.