China nomads on energy’s cutting edge – Lenora Chu

From the Christian Science Monitor:

Gulinar Sitkan’s contribution to China’s pollution problem is four tons of coal a year. It forms heaping black piles outside the shepherd’s log cabin in this mountainous village of China’s northwestern Xinjiang Province.

Coal is cheap and readily available, and China burns nearly 2 billion tons a year for energy – more than India, Russia, and the United States combined.

But coal also contributes to polluted skies and respiratory disease, now a leading cause of death in China. As the government launches its campaign to get 15 percent of China’s energy from renewables by 2020, it figures villages like Sorbastow – where people are waiting to get on the power grid – are a good place to start.

That’s how Ms. Sitkan came across her tiny rooftop solar panel. Beijing hopes to get her and other new electricity consumers hooked on renewables. [Full text]

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