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China Plans Huge Rise In The Installation Of Solar Power

Beijing smog
(image credit: kevin dooley)

Beijing in China has seen smog in the city reach record levels this January and intends to do something about it, which it should be commended for. Its intention is to increase its level of solar power installations by 67 per cent in 2015. Fossil fuels have played a huge part in the current situation of producing greenhouse gases.

China generates more carbon dioxide than any other country in the world. In 2012 its solar power target for 2015 was 21 gigawatts but it has re-visited this figure and is to increase the target to 35 gigawatts. At the end of 2012 China had 6.5 gigawatts of capacity in place so this would be a dramatic increase.

This must be seen as great news by the manufacturers’ of solar panels in the country especially bearing in mind the trade issues that they have become embroiled in with European countries and the United States of America that has resulted in a reduction in solar power output.

During the last 12 months solar panel prices have dropped by 25% in China due to demand dropping and there being an over-supply of solar panels. On top of that, China was faced with America imposing tariffs on the import of solar panels that were manufactured in China. In addition, European countries started to investigate if manufacturers in China were selling solar panels at a price below cost in Europe.

The Chinese government announced towards the beginning of January that it intended to install an additional 10 gigawatts of solar capacity in 2013. During 2012 China set aside subsidies totalling $2.1 billion for solar project development in the domestic market.

Twenty million people live in Beijing where they had to face factory closures due to the levels of smog and government cars were taken off the streets. This is obviously providing a welcome focus on the solar power industry.

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