Two days ago the Information Office of the State Council for the People’s Republic of China published the 2012 edition of their country’s energy policy.
Two things struck me as I read the report.
The first was where is our energy policy. Do we even have one or is it just left to be summed up in campaign sound bites like “drill baby drill”?
The second was an appreciation for the sheer amount of scale possible when the world’s most populous nation decides it wants to get something done.
For instance, the report says that if you added up all of the solar water heating systems in China they would cover an area 200 million square meters in size, which is equivalent to 77.22 square miles.
To put that into perspective that is roughly equal to the kill zone in the Gulf of Mexico following BP’s oil spill. It is the more or less the amount of land that would be destroyed by the blast radius of a 1 megaton nuclear bomb. And it is nearly DOUBLE the size of Paris, France.