China to become world's biggest market for solar power in 2013

China solar panel factory
CC BY 3.0 Wikipedia

China to build 3x more solar capacity in 2013 than in 2012

Over the past decade, we've seen China come to dominate the solar manufacturing industry thanks to huge capital investments (making solar cells is more about high-tech factories than cheap labor). While some high-cost solar companies have gone out of business because they couldn't compete, the overall effect has been good thanks to lower costs and more total capacity (costs went down 20% just last year, and total production capacity is forecast to be 34.1 gigawatts in 2013, an increase of 14% over 2012). Another big change is this year, China is forecast to not only be the biggest maker of solar, but also the biggest buyer.

Bloomberg writes:

China, the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, is forecast to unseat Germany as the largest solar market in 2013, according to analysts at BNEF. Projects have multiplied as the nation provides financial support to its solar companies in a bid to diversify the coal-dependent energy industry.

Not only do they need to stop being so dependent on coal, but they need to stop building new plants and close old ones. And this isn't just advice for China, but for all countries that burn coal. Our atmosphere simply can't absorb that much CO2.

The Chinese government expects 10 gigawatts of new solar projects in 2013, more than double its previous target and three times last year’s expansion. The country plans to install 35 gigawatts by 2015, compared with a previous goal of 21 gigawatts, government adviser Shi Dinghuan said Jan. 30.

Growing at 300% a year. Now that's what I call progress!

Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Via Bloomberg

See also: China is building 29 nuclear reactors, 40% of the world's total

Tags: China | Solar Energy | Solar Power

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