Developing Green Intelligent Characteristic Towns: GCL Mode



At the Fourth Characteristic Town Promotion Conference held by Jiangsu Development and Reform Commission on July 13, 2018, GCL Group came under spotlight with its Jurong Green New Energy Town of Zhenjiang winning an “excellent” rating in the first-year evaluation, and Dahuangshan Silicon Sci-tech Town of Xuzhou included into the second batch of provincial characteristic towns in Jiangsu Province.
GCL is an integrated energy service provider that specializes in clean energy, new energy, with diversified development of related industries. The businesses of GCL cover Power, PV, natural gas, industrial parks, and semiconductors. It has been among the top three on the list of World’s Top 500 New Energy Enterprises for many consecutive years, and serves as a chair of the Global Solar Council and Asian Photovoltaic Industry Association. Relying on a number of proprietary technologies including the polysilicon technology, GCL has reduced power consumption and cost of polysilicon production by 64% and 90% in ten years, breaking the technological monopoly of the US and Europe and elevating China’s status in the industry chain.
Perseverance and innovation have contributed to the prosperity of GCL today. After it made foray into the business of characteristic towns in 2017, GCL has not only implemented projects in Jiangsu but are also poised to extend its presence to Shanghai, Kunming of Yunnan, Zhengzhou of Henan and elsewhere. Through more than a year of strategic planning and explorations, the GCL mode of characteristic town development is taking shape.

GCL mode of characteristic town development: “Green, Intensive, Intelligent, and Low-carbon”
GCL is exploring a mode of “Green, Intensive, Intelligent, and Low-carbon” characteristic towns. The selected towns are located within one-hour drive from large cities and super-large cities, and are driven by the secondary and tertiary sectors.

Under the guidance of urban restoration, ecological restoration and industrial restoration, GCL focuses on how to build new-type green, intelligent characteristic towns backed by its new energy and intelligent technology that are suitable for entrepreneurship, residence, leisure, entertainment and tourism, so as to “bring green energy to life”.

“As to the construction indicators, the authorities should stipulate that new energy shall account for no less than 20% of total energy consumption at characteristic towns, so that characteristic towns can have a high starting point in the construction and be livable in a real sense”, proposed Zhu Gongshan, Chairman of GCL Group.

“We convert and make good use of clean energy in an embedded way. We focus on both protecting the lucid waters and lush mountains and turning them invaluable assets to make the people better off”, said GCL Group Vice Chairman Zhu Yufeng.

Trees growing at Jurong Green New Energy Town
Integrate new energy industry chain to foster new drivers

Industry is the core element of characteristic towns. When developing green intelligent towns, GCL focuses on integrating key links of the new energy industry chain, including PV, intelligent manufacturing, and new energy vehicles and auto part, so as to propel in-depth integration of the innovation chain and foster new growth drivers of characteristic towns.

As the world’s largest company specializing in PV materials R&D and production, GCL produces nearly one-third of the world’s silicon slices and one-fourth of polysilicon. It has been ranked the second by installed capacity of PV power stations in the world, and formed the most integrated PV industry chain with the most intellectual property rights. Taking PV as the main line, GCL has sped up technical progress and product upgrading to drive the development of PV-related intelligent manufacturing. It has also actively engaged in the new energy vehicle industry chain, and experimented with new operating modes of wireless charging, mobile charging, and smart charge-discharge guidance, thus achieving an industrial system integrating new energy vehicle manufacturing, charging station operation and end user service.

With policy support and incentives, new energy vehicles can also be regarded as distributed energy storage facilities, and form micro-grids in combination with distributed energy and recyclable energy through discharging. In the future, new energy vehicles and energy internet will be interconnected.

Promote green production and put people first in intelligent operation

China’s urbanization can be divided into two stages. Urbanization at the first stage is “grey urbanization”, in which environment has been polluted in return for GDP growth. At the second stage, China will pursue “green urbanization” that puts people first. Over the past 28 years, GCL has been dedicated to providing clean and efficient green energy for people to improve the living environment. Since it set foot in the building market of characteristic towns, it has set its own green indicators, such as increasing employment by 30%, conserving social energy investment by 30%, reducing unit energy consumption by 40%, improving energy use efficiency by 40%, and cutting emissions by more than 50%.

The next 40 years will witness a process of intelligent urbanization. Intelligent service is an important approach to sustain the development of GCL’s characteristic towns. With the rising of new energy and upgrading of grid connection conditions and deployment capacity, macro-grids will be able to absorb new energy and stay stable. In comparison to macro-grids, the smart micro-grids of GCL refer to small distributed power systems composed of distributed power, power load, distribution facilities, monitoring and protection devices and the like, which are clean, automatic and eco-friendly, and can meet the needs of the rapid development of new energy, distributed power, and electronic vehicles, and the diversified connection needs. In addition, the green intelligent towns of GCL, based on sensors and the internet of things technology, can integrate intelligent synergy and innovation elements, and have all kinds of information transmitted to the intelligent operation center through high-speed network, and after cloud-based data processing, feedback will be provided to the energy, transport management, water efficiency, waste management, payment, and other systems.

Back to a society where people are closely connected

Guozhuang, where Jurong Green New Energy Town is located
The coming counter-urbanization will be a rare opportunity to reshape the honeycomb-shaped social structure. Counter-urbanization does not mean being far away from urban areas. While enterprises in the industrial age are generally headquartered in CBDs, high-tech enterprises in the information age prefer to nestle in a quiet and pleasant environment to attract global talents. As a result, with the concentration of high-level resources, the headquarters have involved into a “headquarters park”. The town innovation base being built by GCL, known as “Pastoral Headquarters”, echoes people’s longing to get close to nature. In the future towns of GCL, you will find that buildings with oriental aesthetics use environmentally friendly materials and even six-pronged energy supply systems; you will see that the HQ buildings sit in golden wheat fields, and around people working there will be the stars, the moon, fireflies, earthworms, dandelions and other natural elements; and you will see that in rice fields and strawberry farms, PV solar panels turn sunlight into clean energy, and under the panels are thriving rice plants, red strawberries, and swimming fish and crab…

Putting a premium on the education of nature, GCL will also build fruit and vegetable planting bases and small pastures where the children, led by professional coaches, can learn outdoor survival skills and enjoy themselves in nature.

Alternative and clean energy is a global trend, and China’s new energy industry is developing rapidly. Committed to developing into a century-long enterprise, GCL has actively responded to the national policy on characteristic towns. “The characteristic town business will closely follow and implement the strategy of GCL Group. We are trying to build industry-themed towns, low-carbon towns and more important, towns without strangers, so that people can be closely connected like in a rural Chinese community in the past”, said Yu Gang, Vice Chairman of GCL Group and Chairman of GCL Small Town Development Limited.