Today around the world solar power generation has become one of the most preferred alternative energy power generation sources and is mainly due to its unlimited availability at absolutely no additional cost. Unlike the wind or other alternative energy sources, solar power is definitely predictable, though also are other sources like tide energy. Also is the fact that due to technological advances the capital intensive solar power is now competitive with the conventional energy. The National Energy Administration (NEA) recently declared China as the world’s largest solar power producer in the world.
China has been investing heavily in the solar power since the year 2013. It has been the world’s largest market for both photovoltaic as well as the solar thermal energy. The Cumulative installed capacity in China capacity now as of 2016 year-end is over 77.4GW and is largest in the world. The leading market research firms in the field of solar power generation forecast that China will have over 100GW of PV capacity by the end of the year 2018. And this need not be only a speculation as the country added 34.54GW in the year 2016 alone, as per the data from the International Energy Association.
As per the official data released by the NEA of China, these solar power plants generated 66.2 billion kilowatt-hours of power in the year 2016, which is 1% of China’s total power generation. For the country lawmakers, these figures are very unimpressive as against the massive population of China. The government is very keen on making huge investments in the solar sector. The country intends to add another 110GW of solar power plants over the period of next three years.
Though today China is treated or is one of the most polluting countries in the world as per the WHO reports and much hue and cry is going on about the climate change, this achievement by the country in the field of green energy is surely admirable. By the end of the year 2016, its renewable energy percentage is only 11% and the government has definite plans of increasing it to 20% by 2030. China has plans to invest $360 billion into renewable energy projects, including solar, wind, nuclear, and hydropower. The major investments will be in the solar sector. At present, China is heavily dependent on coal for its energy needs. And the burning of coal produces soot, smog, acid rain, and toxic air emissions, and also generates waste like ash, sludge, toxic chemicals, and waste heat.
But since China has decided to invest in renewables, this will surely help the nation to boost its economy by creating millions of jobs and to obtain cleaner skies.