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China Wows Netizens With Panda-Shaped Solar Panel Farm

After Kung Fu Panda, China's national animal is sweeping netizens off their feet again - this time as a pioneer in the country’s renewable energy industry.

Renderings of a solar panel farm in the shape of a giant panda beaming at the sky have been making the rounds on the internet, reports Channel News Asia. The "Panda Power Plant," as it is called, is currently undergoing tests in Datong, Shanxi province, according to a statement from the Panda Green Energy Group.

While aerial shots have shown the panda to be a little less cute than as seen in the renderings, it is no less impressive: at an installed capacity of 100MW, the completed solar park is expected to produce 3.2 billion kWh of electricity over 25 years, cutting down China's carbon dioxide emissions by 2.74 million tons.

The panda does more than just generate power, according to Alan Li, Panda Green Energy Group's CEO. "By designing the solar power station into the pattern of a panda, we aim to stimulate teenagers' interest and enthusiasm for solar energy application," Li said at an event in 2016. Since last year, China and the United Nations Development Program have been working together on summer camps for teenagers to learn about pressing social and environmental issues.

While China is infamous for its air pollution in urban areas, the country is making visible progress on the green energy front. Beijing's last coal-fired power plant was shut down earlier this year, while solar panels the size of three football fields were installed every hour in 2016, Greenpeace estimates.

The country also recently revised its energy goalposts, aiming to produce 20% of its energy from renewables by 2030.

[Photo via The Telegraph]

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