Objective: Generating sustainable electricity for China's western rural areas
Cotton stalks are collected by farmers and burned to generate carbon neutral energy to power the wider area. Utilising this surplus biomass resource generates sustainable electricity and creates a highly needed additional income for locals in the area
The old capital of Kashgar is situated along the historic Northern Silk Road on the westernmost border of China. The region's rich culture has a strong tradition of trade and transfer between East and West, and cotton growing for the textile industry forms the region's main economic pillar. However, power generation in the region is almost exclusively coal-fired, resulting in high levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
This project provides the province with clean energy while at the same time economically benefiting farmers in the region. Cotton stalks are collected by farmers and sold to the power plant. The plant combusts these cotton stalks in a state-ofthe-art straw-fired boiler to generate thermal energy at a capacity of 12MW, which is provided to the local electrical grid. Ash - the waste product of the power plant - is given back to the farmers free of charge to be used as fertilizer.
Previously, this valuable biomass was considered waste and burned in the fields in an unregulated manner. Now, it is collected and transformed into carbon neutral energy for the wider region, strengthening the grid to avoid power failures previously experienced during the planting season. The project strengthens the local economy, creating jobs, supplementing incomes and providing free fertilizer. In addition, the project owner has provides scholarships to poor families and financial support for local cultural activities.