China: home to Solar energy

China’s demand for energy is surging and the government has realized the importance of renewable energy. China Daily reported that China will announce a new five year target for the solar industry soon, as  the Chinese government stalled new approvals for nuclear power projects on March 16 following Japan’s nuclear crisis.

Currently, China is the world’s leading manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) panels, which change sunlight in to electricity. The Chinese government however, has deemed PV power too expensive especially compared with coal which produces electricity at low cost –  between an eighth and a tenth of the cost compared to the other energy sources.

Mr. Li Shengman, an industry analyst at China investment consulting was reported saying that the new target for solar energy could be a relief for China’s over capacity photovoltaic (PV) industry. However, he said that the export-dependent industry will see the domestic market expanding more.

SIEEB Solar Energy-Efficient Building in Beijing

According to the report, the Chinese government has taken steps to improve environmental conditions in the country. The new law on renewable energy will provide the most influential support to promote cleaner energy technologies with a stated  target of increasing the use of renewable energy to 16 % by 2020.

There are many advantages of using solar energy in any country as solar cells are long lasting sources of energy which can be used almost anywhere. According to China Daily, solar cells can provide cost effective solutions to energy problems in places where there is no electricity.  Also, solar cells are  totally silent and non-polluting. As they have no moving parts they require little maintenance and have a long lifespan. Compared to other renewable sources they also possess many advantages; wind and water power rely on turbines which are noisy, expensive and liable to breaking down.

But there also some draw backs of this energy source. Most types of solar cell require large areas of land to achieve average efficiency. Air pollution and weather can also have a large effect on the efficiency of the cells.

But the Chinese government knows  how to control the setbacks of the solar energy andhas proven itself as a force  in the global solar power market. China is home to the world’s top solar makers, including Suntech Power Holdings Ltd and Trina Solar Ltd.

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