Saturday, May 26, 2007

Overview of Solar Energy in China 2006

From Overview of Renewable Energy Development in China 2006

China has extremely rich solar energy resources.According to estimates, the total solar radiation hittingChina's land area annually is 5 x 1022 J, equivalentto about 1700 billion tons of standard coalequivalent (tce). Based on the distribution of thetotal radiation hitting China's land surface, it can beseen that Tibet, Qinghai, Xinjiang, the southern partof Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, northern Shaanxi, Hebei,Shandong, Liaoning, western Jilin, the middle andsouthwest parts of Yunnan, the southeastern partof Guangdong, the southeastern parts of Fujian,the eastern and western parts of Hainan, and thesouthwest part of Taiwan all receive a relatively largeamount of solar radiation. In particular, areas onthe Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau receive the largestamounts of solar radiation in all of China.

Currently, the main use of solar energy in China is the supply of hot water to urban and rural households. The cumulative installed capacity of solar water heaters now surpasses 80 million square meters of collector area. In 2020 and 2050total installed capacity could reach 300 million and 500 million square meters, respectively, with the potential to conserve 130 billion kWh in 2020 and 230 billion kWh in 2050. Potential reductions in peak power loads resulting from these installed capacities would be 120 GW (2020) and 200 GW(2050). Photovoltaic technology (PV) is the main technology used in China for the generation of electricity from solar energy. PV modules are used in both industrial and commercial applications and provide electricity to remote rural areas and urban lighting applications. At present, China's installed capacity of PV systems in over 70 MW, of which about 50% is used to supply electricity to the residents of remote rural areas, a market that is growing at 30% annually. The industrial and commercial PV markets are also relatively stable. China's annual production capacity for urban PV lighting systems is over 10 MW, accounting for 70% of the world total. Among China's manufacturing capabilities for solar energy applications, production of solar thermal equipment , namely solar water heaters, is first in the world. China now has a solar water heater production capacity of over 16 million square meters per year. PV cell production capacity in China has reached nearly 200 MW. Thus, a firm basis for the large-scale development and utilization of solar energy resources in China has been established.

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