A pair of Chinese companies are teaming up to build what might become world's largest solar power plant. According to Reuters, China Technology Development Group Corp (the name is nothing if not comprehensive) and Qinghai New Energy Group "will begin building a 30 megawatt solar power station in China's Qaidam Basin this year with an initial investment of $150 million."But that's just the beginning:"The project, which will combine thin-film and traditional silicon-based technologies that turn the sun's rays into electricity, ultimately will produce 1 gigawatt of power, the companies said, without giving a time frame."My hat goes off to these companies. But I wonder, could this announcement lead to some healthy, patriotic rivalry? That is to ask, could the construction of a giant solar power plant in one nation inspire another nation to build a bigger, better plant?Think about it. If the competitive and innovative zeal that fueled last century's space race was matched (or outdone) by a battle to build the best alternative power systems, then we'd all be better off for it.More on the China plant at Inhabitat.