China is often dubbed as a heavy user of fossil fuels and polluter or a climate killer. Because it meets the 70% of its power needs by exploiting coals. But they are making changes on the environment front too. Slowly and steadily they are choosing wind and solar power as their source of energy. China has earned the distinction of having the world’s largest solar-powered building. It is situated in Dezhou, Shangdong Province in northwest China. The building covers an area of 75,000-square-meter. The office building is modelled after the sun dial structure.
The building provides many services such as space for exhibition centers, scientific research facilities, meeting and training facilities and a sustainable hotel. This building is named as the Sun and the Moon Altar micro-row buildings. The architecture included the Chinese characters for sun and moon. The solar building has a white exterior that represents clean energy.
The clean and green ideas are not confined to the massive solar array only but can be spotted in the whole building complex. They have utilized only 1% of steel to the Bird’s nest. Their advanced roof and wall insulation system consume 30% less energy than the national energy saving standard. The building will be showcased to the whole world during the 4th World Solar City Congress. The building’s pioneering solar energy and power-saving technologies, a few already patented, include a number of technical advancements that will push forward the mass application of solar energy.
The building will procure 95% of its energy needs from alternative energy sources. They have installed a 5000 square meter solar panel array on the building complex. This building also has the facilities of solar hot water, a solar desalination plant and a solar energy theme park.
Dezhou can safely be termed as a solar city because among 5.5 million people living in this city most of them opted for the solar hot water systems. In this city, solar energy is all pervasive. It powers everything from street lighting to tourist cars.
Greenpeace put forth some statistics for this city. According to them, in 2007, 800,000 people in Dezhou had jobs in the solar panel industry. Greenpeace predicts that this figure is expected to grow to 1,500,000 by 2020.