China reaches major solar energy milestoneJuly 22, 2013
China the first to reach 3GW solar energy milestone
China has become the first country to reach the 3 gigawatt utility-scale solar energy milestone. This milestone represents a major achievement for China and the country’s aggressive interests in solar energy. Developing utility-scale clean energy is a gargantuan task considering the cost of clean technologies and updates that must be made to existing energy infrastructures. China’s achievement shows that the country has established a strong support structure for solar energy.
Country accounts for majority of new capacity installed in first half of 2013
During the first half of 2013, some 3.75 gigawatts of utility-scale solar energy capacity came online throughout the world. China accounted for 26% of this capacity. Strong growth in the country’s capacity is largely due to the support the Central Government has provided to domestic energy developers and manufacturers of photovoltaic panels. This support primarily comes in the form of funding, which is used to develop the technologies needed to harness the power of the sun.
Rapid manufacture leads to trade disputes
Chinese manufacturers have produced photovoltaic panels at a rapid pace, thereby inundating the global market with inexpensive products that have helped reduce the costs associated with solar energy in general. This has caused some tension in Europe, where solar energy has established a strong foothold. Germany had been considered t he leading country in the solar sector before China’s accomplishment. These tensions have erupted into trade disputes between China and many European countries.
China remains reliant on fossil-fuels
The majority of the country’s solar energy capacity comes from rooftop solar systems that are being used by homeowners and businesses throughout China. Large-scale projects are relatively common throughout the country as well. While China’s solar energy capacity has reached new heights, the country remains firmly reliant on fossil-fuels. These fuels are becoming more expensive, which have been a contributing factor to the country’s pursuit of clean power.