A city of one million people about 100 miles southwest of Beijing, Baoding has ascended rapidly as a working urban model of China's transition to a clean energy economy. The city is considered to be the first "carbon positive" city in the world, largely due to local efforts along with additional national and international support.
Source: Shanghai Manual: A Guide for Sustainable Urban Development in the 21st Century (2010)
Baoding has undergone a transformation from a traditionally dirty textile and automobile manufacturing city to a central hub for renewable energy production and deployment. Over 200 producers of wind, photovoltaic and thermal mass solar, biomass and energy efficiency technologies now call Baoding home, resulting in the creation of over 20,000 additional jobs and the generation of more than $1 billion in fiscal revenues in 2009. Baoding's companies combined to manufacture and sell 500 megawatts (MW) of solar products and 5089 MW of wind power products in 2008 alone.
Baoding's immense economic success in recent years has attracted partners such as the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) as well as with the Chinese national government.
However, the city's clean energy industry growth was not initially spurred on by the Chinese government. Instead, it was initially reportedly the result of the mayor's interest in developing a new economy after lakes in the area experienced fish-die offs that were attributed to water pollution from a local industry. After the national government designated Baoding as a High-Tech Development Zone, Mayor Yu Qin began researching clean energy technologies by visiting nations with early-stage renewable industries in Europe. After securing low-interest loans from the national government, Baoding began its transition to what mayor Yu Qin calls "power valley", emulating the industrial cluster model of California's Silicon Valley.