Air Quality

Published on October 28th, 2013 | by Jake Richardson


20 GW Of Distributed Solar By 2015 Is New Target For China

October 28th, 2013 by  

20 GW of distributed solar by 2015 is the new goal in China. So far, about 2 GW has been installed, and six more could be added in 2014. Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are some of the focal points for the development projects.

Image Credit: Badseed

35 GW by 2015 is the target for all solar installations. According to a new report, China will the biggest deployer of photovoltaics in 2013. (Record demand in Asia is being driven by China and Japan.)

China is the largest global energy consumer, and the second largest consumer of oil, with the US being number one. Coal and oil are its top two energy sources, with coal providing about seventy percent of its energy.

Air pollution in China has been a known problem for years. In some of the largest cities, there are days with low visibility because of dense smog. This year, it was reported that there are over one million premature deaths there per year, due to air pollution. Recently, air pollution shut down parts of a Chinese city.

The development of relatively small amounts of solar energy is good news, but China is the most populous country in the world. It also has a fast-growing economy and other development projects are responsible for the terrible air pollution.

So, 20 GW may sound like a large number compared to the existing solar resources, but it is a tiny portion of the renewable  energy that is needed. Cynics might say these small projects are too trivial to make a difference, and that the attempt to blend fossil fuels with renewables is a doomed strategy. China, however, has had no sudden, crystallizing  incident like Fukushima.

Online media, including citizen journalism and bloggers, might help propel greater interest in renewables by focusing more attention on the health impacts of coal and oil, like the persistent, toxic air pollution.

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About the Author

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus.

  • JamesWimberley

    From the source article:
    “The country has a 35GW target for all solar installation by 2015. There
    is no suggestion that that figure will be lifted meaning that the
    majority of the country’s installed solar by then would be from
    distributed sources.” What we have here is a large policy shift from utility to distributed.

    It’s a pretty safe speculation that this has more to do with grid connection issues than any technical problems with building utility plants. China already has severe problems connecting wind farms in remote, windy regions like Inner Mongolia, The other inference is that pilot projects with distributed solar in the big cities are going well, and can be scaled up without much risk. The solar panel manufacturers won’t care whether distributed or utility has priority as long as demand expands.

    The change may have unanticipated political effects. Utility solar is invisible to the end user; the current comes down the same wire from the same utility. But the distributed roof-holder is an empowered partner in the energy transition and probably a voice for it.

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