China and Solar Energy

by Jackson Cooney

China is the world’s largest user of energy, and one of the largest consumers of coal. However, recently it has shifted to solar power and started relying less on oil, natural gas, and coal. Between January 2014 to June 2014, China added 3.3 gigawatts of solar capacity, which brings China’s total to 23 gigawatts (Topf, 2015). This is the second largest solar capacity behind Germany’s 36 gigawatts. The Chinese government has gone as far as to ban the use of coal by 2020. The renewed focus on the clean energy has a lot to do with the worsening smog conditions and an attempt to clean up the environment. China has appropriated $23.5 billion to finance an increase in solar panel use which is the most money assigned to solar energy.

The main reason that solar energy has blossomed so rapidly in china is the massive incentive policies and the government’s initiative to undercut the competition. China was accused of selling their solar panels at a lower price then the domestic producers elsewhere putting these makers out of business. After a threat of the EU imposing an antidumping tariff China agreed to sell their panels at a predetermined price. Along with undercutting, China has also implemented subsidies to increase their use of solar energy. One of these incentives included 14 to 16 cents per kilowatt-hour applying to both ground mounted and roof panels.

It is clear that China’s push for solar energy is an attempt to combat their massive pollution problem. Solar energy will improve air quality as well as decrease their reliance on other nations for fuel needs. It seems that China will continue to increase their use of solar power and be the leading nation in solar energy because of the sheer environmental need. Something has to be done differently and it seems that solar energy could be that something.

Topf, A. (2014, August 24). Why China Is Leading The World In Solar Power. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from

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