Near-zero carbon living demonstrated in Hainan's Boao

Photovoltaic (PV) tiles on the ground, zero-carbon coffee kiosks, flower-shaped wind energy collectors, a spinning bike that charges your phone while you ride, as well as many other emission-reduction technologies and innovations were on display at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference in Hainan province. This near-zero carbon lifestyle is providing the world with a model for green development. A near-zero carbon demonstration zone in Boao started operation on March 18, covering an area of 190.15 hectares and consisting of three core carbon reduction areas: green transformation for buildings, renewable energy utilization, and green transformation for transportation. By adopting emission-reduction technologies and various innovations, the zone can achieve a balance between clean power generation and consumption. It has completed 18 projects across eight categories and reached the near-zero carbon stage, the Global Times reports. The Boao near-zero carbon demonstration zone makes full use of buildings' roofs and walls and parking lots, with a total of 5.1 megawatts of PV panels.

The press center for the BFA is among the 12 projects that were first transformed into green buildings. The floors outside the BFA press center are covered with PV tiles. A newly installed zero-carbon bar is also located outside the center. At the bar, visitors can experience a zero-carbon intelligent coffee machine powered by solar energy, and paper cups using recycled materials. After throwing the paper cups in a smart waste bin, it can detect the value of carbon emissions reduced by garbage recycling. Customers can receive “carbon coins” and pay for other goods with these coins, according to staffers at the bar. The operations of all these technologies and innovations were managed by an intelligent platform at the near-zero carbon management center in the demonstration zone. The platform is connected with the terminal facilities in the zone based on wireless Internet of Things (IoT) communication technology, enabling it to monitor the water supply, power, air quality and other conditions in the zone, and then transmit information to a carbon data platform.

Hu Juntao, General Manager of HYC Technology, who has participated in the BFA for eight consecutive years, told the Global Times that the 2024 forum has seen more green and low-carbon measures than in previous years. “In 2023, only cars were new-energy vehicles (NEVs). But this year, buses and minibuses at the venue have also been replaced by NEVs, and the proportion of renewable materials used in conference supplies is increasing year by year.”

China has committed to the “dual carbon” goals of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 and has continuously increased clean energy generation and consumption. By the end of 2023, renewable energy accounted for about one-third of China's total power consumption, with wind and solar power combined accounting for more than 15%, according to the National Energy Administration (NEA), as reported by the Global Times.