With the rapid expansion of the solar energy industry, there is a real chance that climate change will be curbed in the future. According to recent research, conducted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, if China remains committed toward its energy supply diversification, renewable energy could end up providing more than 30 percent of the country’s energy by 2050.
The research shows that China is committed to the application of efficient funding mechanisms, allowing it to scale up the solar deployment across the country. Currently, China has the world’s largest solar market.
How did China overtake the U.S.?
As you may know, the technology of producing power using solar panels was invented by the United States. The U.S. had been at the helm of the solar industry for three decades, until China came along. One of the main reasons that led to the decline of U.S. solar industry was low solar panel production.
With an increasing number of interested Americans, the solar industry struggled to cater for the solar needs, successfully providing solar panels to a third of the interested parties. Due to these challenges, consumers slowly opted for alternative sources of energy, which they believed were sustainable and readily available as compared to solar energy.
The rise of China
Initially, China was only using solar energy as a source of electricity aimed at helping poor rural areas that were not accessible via the country’s power grid. After sometime, some of the pioneering solar companies started manufacturing solar panels for export to Germany, which had expanded its solar incentives.
To learn more about Germany tariffs, have a look here. In order to meet the solar panel demand, China went on a hunting spree for solar experts from across the globe, and also bought more sophisticated production machinery. Also, to meet the expected flow of solar panel orders, China had to expand its polysilicon supplies.
Some veterans in the U.S. solar industry started claims that China had bought its way to success by buying established solar companies. Other companies had also been invited to operate in China, which had plenty of skilled and cheap labor, according to veterans. In China, instead of these companies paying taxes they got tax credits, which is why they thrived.
What the future holds
China embarked on a 5-year strategic plan through which it expanded the renewable energy industry by giving this sector special attention, including tax incentives and loans. Through this plan, China ended up building the largest solar manufacturing industry in the world, which is currently leading in most aspects of the world’s solar market.
The industry is currently producing cheap solar panels that are manufactured in huge bulk, whereby for every panel ordered by a foreign customer, two are made. China has also opted to go the way of Germany by developing its customized feed-in-tariffs.
Through these tariffs, the government pays a handsome subsidy for solar panel installation. The initial result of this incentive was a gush in local demand for solar panels. The demand was so great that after two years, China’s domestic market surpassed that of Germany, making it the largest in the world.
In 2016, China tried to reduce the solar panel subsidy, and also set a deadline when it would be entirely scrapped off. This again, spurred another gush in domestic buying, with people taking advantage of the subsidy while they still had the chance.
In the first six months of 2016, China put in close to 20 GW of solar energy, considering that the entire U.S. capacity is 31 GW. According to this source, the future of solar energy consumption is great.
China is currently dominating in areas of solar manufacturing and use. According to predictions, these markets will expand by 13 percent every year, which means that China will gradually raise its dominance in the solar industry.
For the U.S., it is reasonably hard to revert to its initial dominance, but there is a possibility that they can become the second largest solar panel manufacturer. This is only achievable if the U.S. nurtures new technology, cuts costs, and becomes innovative.
The solar incentives are, however, very appealing, especially when it comes to curbing climate change, and they might be the means of saving our planet according to this article.
China is currently leading the world toward a safer and brighter future. By adopting solar energy and other forms of renewable energy, many environmental hazards will be avoided, and life expectancy will increase.
China is among the largest producers of biodegradable waste, and its incentive to revert to renewable energy will go far into ensuring that the environment remains clean and conducive through recycling of those biodegradable wastes.
Philip Piletic — Writer, traveler, and freelancer who enjoys gardening in his spare time. He has a strong interest in ecology and sustainability, and believes that global changes can happen one small step at a time.
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