Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics fully operates on renewables

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The Zhangbei high-voltage direct current (HVDC) grid in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, is the first of its kind to enable the integration of remote wind, solar and hydro energy, sending renewables to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region as well as serving the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics. Beijing 2022 will be the first Olympic Games in history where all venues are powered by green and renewable energy.

A contract was signed in January to kick off preparations to power the Beijing Winter Olympics with renewables. Some venues for the Winter Olympics, including the National Stadium and National Aquatics Center, have already been powered by green energy since July 1. The second half of 2019 will see a reduction in the burning of 16,000 metric tons of coal and the emission of 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide thanks to the project.

Such a large-scale use of renewable energy demands cutting-edge technology and coordination of electricity generation, transmission, and consumption. To meet power demands for the Olympics, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) has launched supporting projects, such as the Zhangbei Renewable Energy VSC DC Power Grid Experimental Demonstration Project. These projects will all be integrated into Beijing's power grid after the Games, generating 10% of Beijing's total power consumption annually. 

The renewable energy projects can help meet the demands of the Olympic venues on infrastructure, ensure the hosting of a sustainable Olympic Games, as well as improve people's lives, said an official from the Beijing Major Projects Construction Headquarters Office.  

Besides the Olympic venues, the State Grid is also working on the areas near the venues and the related transportation to promote clean energy and green travel. The areas near the Beijing Olympics venues have already eradicated the use of coal, with 64,000 households shifting from coal to electricity. In the Zhangjiakou competition zone, 50,000 households are expected to shift to electricity. 

The State Grid is also beefing up its efforts to provide charging facilities for electric vehicles in the service areas along the expressways between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, transportation hubs, and scenic spots near the venues. According to the plan, charging stations for electric vehicles will be in operation in service areas on the Beijing-Lhasa Expressway, the Beijing-Urumqi Expressway, and in Zhangjiakou Ningyuan Airport by the end of 2019; charging stations will be ready in service areas on Beijing-Chongli Expressway and the Zhangjiakou Station of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Intercity Railway by the end of 2020, and in parking lots and key scenic areas around Winter Olympics venues by the end of 2021.

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