Across China: Scenic island in E China in pursuit of "zero-carbon"

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FUZHOU, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Solar-powered tiles glowing with prismatic lights in the evening on the offshore island of Meizhou are now a must-see attraction at this holiday resort near the eastern Chinese city of Putian.

The 75 floor tiles are powered by an intelligent solar system equipped with weather sensors and smart controllers that can automatically adjust their power-generation mode -- to ensure that they can work in any weather conditions.

The photogenic pavement is located on an elongated island known for its charming coastal scenery and which is believed to be the birthplace of the Chinese goddess Mazu. This pavement was built not only to provide sightseeing fun, but also to serve as a landmark reminding visitors that the island is striving to be a carbon-free tourist destination.

Meizhou Island is rich in renewable resources. It is home to 23 solar power projects that generate around 1.69 million kWh of power annually.

In 2023, supplemented with wind power generated by a coastal town, 50 percent of the power supply on the island came from clean energy.

Meizhou is projected to become a zero-carbon island in 2025, forming part of China's national endeavor to realize its duel carbon goals of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality by 2060.

On the island, which is prone to seasonal drought, renewable energy is stored at a power storage station and used for sewage disposal during the dry season. Last year, a total of 60,000 KWh of solar and wind power electricity was used to treat sanitary sewage on the island, while the island also uses reclaimed water for agricultural irrigation and gardening purposes.

Expenditure for wastewater treatment on the island has been reduced by more than 30 percent thanks to renewable energy sources, said Du Yong, a water purification manager on Meizhou.

Meanwhile, buildings at Mazu Forum Plaza are equipped with motorized sunshades capable of adapting to the direction of the sun's rays, thereby generating clean power while also adjusting their flip angles to provide improved shading.

The island's promotional video is loop-played on a 12-square-meter transparent screen. This waterproof photoelectric transparent screen, consisting of translucent CdTe power-generating glass, can draw power from the sun and serve as an energy source.

Hostels and restaurants on the island previously used diesel and coal gas for cooking, but all of them now rely on electric stoves.

In addition, all 376 buses on the island are fully electrified. "These pure electric buses are energy-saving and eco-friendly. With the help of government subsidies, they can reduce operating costs by 60 percent in comparison with fuel vehicles," said Yu Jianshan, manager of a local bus company.

In the future, Meizhou Island is planning to build a "digital twin" platform to simulate the island's external environment such as weather, people flow and business density, thus offering a digital solution for renewable energy distribution in the physical world based on relevant data.

"Striving to create a 'zero-carbon island' supported by a renewable power system, the island is already on its way," said Cai Zhe, a manager at State Grid Meizhou Island Power Supply. Enditem

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