WASHINGTON: According to the findings of an international team led by Chinese researchers, improving cross-border cooperation and tapping into renewable energy can help countries that are part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to take a quick, giant leap and enter the low-carbon future.

For the first time, the study published in the Joule journal made quantitative observations of the potential that the BRI countries provide in the sphere of renewable energy. It said that utilizing less than four per cent of the maximum potential of the region can help meet their energy requirements by 2030.

Tsinghua University researchers, along with scientists from Harvard and other universities selected 66 geographically connected BRI countries and identified areas with immense solar radiation and low land value. The team excluded places like forests and agricultural land.

The spacing and packing density of solar panels was computed to ascertain maximized power yields for each area. In the last stage, they calculated the energy output per hour.

After compiling their observations, the team found that the countries included in the research can produce 448.9 petawatt hour of solar energy. This value is about 41 times the demand for electricity in those countries in 2016.

As BRI countries span multiple time zones and various climate conditions, the cross-border grids could help reduce the impact when sunlight isn’t available in certain areas, according to the researchers.

Source: Xinhua News Agency