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Desert powerplant and the wall - By Tim Meulenbroeks

Jiuquan, September 17, 2016

How do you benefit from having a huge desert within your territory? This thought crossed my mind, while being bored beyond my senses, driving through China today. The answer turns out to be: Placing windmills. A popular saying is: "It is not the destination that matters, but the journey". Today it couldn't be further from the truth though. More than 600 kilometers of straight road, desert and windmills. However boring this may have been, this did give me enough time to ponder.

It is of paramount importance that we keep working on both aspects of electrical mobility necessary for sustainable transport. Generating the energy in a sustainable way and making sure it can be used in the form of electrical vehicles. China gave me a split feeling about the first point. Today we crossed field upon field of windmills and at the university, they were focusing hard on renewable energy. But at the same time, I know most of China's energy comes from coal, one of the most polluting energy sources. It seems the trend on both fronts is in the positive direction, especially on the electrical vehicle front, but we need everyone to give it their best to keep it accelerating. I am convinced we are near the tipping point in development, let's all help to give the final push.

A trip through China is of course incomplete without a visit of the Chinese wall but due to our route we only had one opportunity to see it. Today was that day. We had high hopes of taking a picture of the motorcycle on or near the wall, but unfortunately we were not allowed to do so. The location we visited was one of the many gates of the wall, where armies would be able to pass. Although the gatehouse itself was restored and in pristine condition, the actual wall itself was quite worn down. As one of our Chinese guides explained the wall, in this part, is built from a combination of mud and branches. 1300 Years of exposure to the elements had taken its toll but the gatehouse gave us a glimpse of its past grandeur. Even though we were unable to take Wave to the wall it was a great experience.

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