The world hears every day of China’s staggering growth, its rampant urbanization, and its accruing economic and political power, but it is rare to see the unguarded faces and hear the unfiltered voices of the Chinese themselves even as the coverage of their country grows in volume and hysteria.

This video acts as an antidote to views of the Chinese, and their energy consumption, as simplistically monolithic in their all-consuming drive to development. It follows in short form a Chinese couple that has relocated to the bright lights of Shanghai from the countryside, like so many of their compatriots. The pair live and farm near the massive Waigaoqiao coal-fired power plant, and their discussion of the plant underlines the difficult and complex choices emerging economies are making as they struggle to meet their population’s needs without straining their environments beyond repair.

China comes under fierce criticism for its unwillingness to slow its development of coal-fired power plants, which emit carbon dioxide and other pollutants at a greater rate than natural gas and renewable generation (both of which the Chinese are also building at a rapid pace). This video, which comes from the global technology firm Siemens, underlines the tough choices as the coal plant replaces even more-polluting and comparatively inefficient diesel generators.

Urban energy choices aren’t always easy, but it is hard to end this video without a sense of hope for the people of Shanghai and other rapidly-growing urban centers as they grapple with those choices.