GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Plans 2 GW of Solar PV In China By 2015

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Hong Kong-based GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited has plans to build 2 gigawatts (GW) of solar power plants in China in 2015. If all goes well, the company could achieve 3 GW by 2017. Many of these projects are utility-scale, with some distributed generation mixed in. The company has connected 52 megawatts (MW) to the grid in January of this year.

GCL-Poly Energy solar farm

Utility-Scale Solar PV Projects

The company is constructing the utility-scale PV solar projects in the following locations:

  • 150 MW, Shaanxi
  • 130 MW, Ningxia
  • 81 MW, Inner Mongolia
  • 50 MW, Hebei
  • 50 MW, Hainan
  • 50 MW, Qinghai
  • 30 MW, Xinjiang.

606 MW of utility-scale solar projects had been completed and grid connected by the end of 2014, as had 61 MW of distributed solar. Investment development branches have also been created in about 20 Chinese provinces to expand solar in their borders.

GCL manufactures polysilicon and wafers for the PV solar industry. It also builds and operates solar power plants. The company does not only work with renewables — it constructs, manages, and operates some coal power plants as well.

1,000 GW?

None of the company’s solar expansion is surprising — China is the world’s #1 solar installer. Even so, it will have to grow solar much more. “China needs to add an estimated 1,000 gigawatts of carbon-neutral energy capacity, such as solar power, to meet its commitment to capping carbon emissions by 2030 under the recent climate change deal signed with the US. That means a massive increase in the installation of solar panels, among other measures.”

1,000 GW… it seems nearly unfathomable right now, but that would be a monumental achievement. Not terribly long ago, even one gigawatt might have seemed ridiculous for some countries, so 1,000 could be achieved some day.

Air Pollution

Air pollution from coal burning is a terrible problem in some Chinese cities, so adding more renewables must happen. Several hundred thousand people in China die prematurely each year due to severe air pollution.

Burning coal also contributes to climate change, so solar power is a “win-win” because it is better for human health and the health of the planet. Solar PV will also continue to drop in cost, making it a more and more obvious choice as fossil fuels get more expensive.

Image by GCL-Poly Energy

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Jake Richardson

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