Friday, June 29, 2007

Solar Ovens Provide Alternative to Cooking with Wood in Rural China

By Jeff McIntire-Strasburg Filed on Jun 28, 2007 at 12:20 PM PST

Most of us in the developed world don't think a lot about the source of fuel we use for cooking: unless there's a power outage, we can turn a knob or press a button, and we've got the heat we need. If we've got a gas stovetop, we don't even need the electricity! We know, of course, that people in the developing world generally aren't this fortunate, and wood-gathering is a necessary part of the food preparation ritual. But what do people in poverty do if wood supplies start to run low because of deforestation, desertification, or just a simple lack of usable wood?

In Gansu, China, a region that receives little rainfall and has no trees, a very old technology has provided a solution: the solar oven. The concept of using a curved mirror to focus sunlight, and the heat it provides, has been around since the ancient Greeks; relief and development agency Operation Blessing International has purchased and installed over 200 of these ovens (made from concrete and mirrors) in Gansu. The program has been so popular that the organization has just released funding for 200 more in the region. According to Operation Blessing president Bill Horan,

"In Gansu, like in many other poverty-stricken regions around the world, firewood is as precious as water. There are virtually no trees here, and so little rain, that the only bath most people take in their whole life is on their wedding day. These solar ovens are based on ancient technology and they are eco-friendly - a totally renewable energy source."

OBI is considering taking the program to another devastated region of the world: the Darfur region of the Sudan, where the organization operates several refugee and relief camps in partnership with a German charity.

We Westerners tend to associate "technology" with the latest devices: computers, cell phones, renewable energy installations, etc. This simple, time-tested technology, though, looks like just the thing for impoverished people around the world. And, even with the high carbon emissions associated with concrete production, this looks like a pretty climate-friendly alternative, too...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Royalstar and EPV to Produce Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) modules together in Hefei, China

June 28,2007

Royalstar and EPV plan to produce amorphous silicon (a-Si) solar modules together in Hefei, China.

The first phase project will have annual production capacity of 5.5MW, and the production capacity will reach 25MW in 2-3 years and reach 100MW in 5 years.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Construction on large polysilicon production base starts in southwest China

Xinhua Economic News Service , June 28, 2007 Thursday 5:00 AM EST

CHONGQING, June 28 (CEIS) - Construction on a large polysilicon production base involving total investment of four billion yuan started in Wanzhou District, Chongqing Municipality, southwest China, on June 27.

The project, invested by Daqo Group, will be the largest of its kind in China as its first phase project with an annual capacity of 3, 000 tons, is put into production in June of next year.

When the whole project is completed in 2009, it will be capable of producing 6,000 tons of polysilicon a year.

It is of important strategic significance for China to break the monopoly of foreign companies, ease the shortage of raw material supply for its booming solar industry and sharpen the international competitive edge of its solar industry, said market analysts.

Daqo Group, well-known as a middle-voltage electrical equipment producer with annual sales revenue topping six billion yuan, has obtained the exclusive right of polysilicon production technology in China from a German technology transfer company. It is learned that the technology can help Daqo produce both solar-class polysilicon and electronic-class one, with relatively low energy consumption and cost.

Wanzhou of Chongqing is rich in silicon ore, raw materials for producing polysilicon. After the polysilicon project is launched, Wanzhou will try to extend the production chain to the downstream silicon wafer and solar cell sectors.

China's major solar cell makers including Suntech (NYSE: STP), JA Solar (NASDAQ: JASO) and Solarfun Power (NASDAQ: SOLF) are all likely to be Daqo's key clients, but related cooperation agreements are expected to be signed next year, according to Xu Guangfu, chairman of Daqo Group.

June 27th, Daqo Group Multi Silicon Project Broke Ground in Chongqing. This will be the largest multi silicon production base in China, and the total investment is 4 Billion RMB (400 Million Euro).

Daqo Group plans to start the production in June 2008, and the production capacity will reach 3,000 Ton in 2008 and 6,000 Ton in 2009.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dr Shi takes a shine to the PM

Florence Chong
June 26, 2007

SHI Zhengrong - dubbed China's sunshine boy by the international press - has pressured Prime Minister John Howard to join his push to pursue renewable energy in preference to nuclear power.

The visiting Australian-passport-holding billionaire told The Australian: "I said to the Prime Minister, as far as I understand, it will take 10 years to plan for nuclear power.

"In reality, solar power will definitely be very competitive with conventional technology in 10 years' time. There is no need to go to nuclear power."

Dr Shi is the founder of the Nasdaq-listed Suntech Power, capitalised at $US5.5 billion ($6.5 billion).

In 2005, he raised $US455 million to fund expansion and research and development. He owns 40 per cent of the shares himself.

Over dinner in Canberra last Friday, Dr Shi explained to Mr Howard that conventional energy sources such as oil should be kept for needs such as aviation.

"I urge Australia to promote renewable energy, such as solar energy. Australian sunshine is an asset - you have to use it," he said.

According to Dr Shi, Mr Howard agreed, but said Australia lacked the ability to use solar energy for baseload power, which is why his government was looking at nuclear power.

Dr Shi said a big percentage of Australia's electricity supplies could come from solar energy, so "in my opinion there is no need for a big baseload".

Dr Shi, who came to Australia as a student when he was 19, was part of a delegation from Wuxi, a city near Shanghai, visiting Australia to recruit 300 young talents in a range of disciplines.
The former PhD student of University of NSW maintains close links with its research department, particularly his mentor Professor Martin Green, a world leader in photovoltaic solar cells.

The efficiency of solar technology is improving, he said, but he agreed that, depending on the location, it still cost two-to-five-times that of conventional energy.

Dr Shi said the cost of silicon was the reason solar energy remained expensive.

However, with plenty of money going into setting up additional silicon manufacturing capacity, he expected the silicon price to drop from 2009 onwards, when the extra plants went into production.

Monday, June 25, 2007

China Jing Long Group is building 200 more mono-crystal furnaces

China Jing Long Group is building 200 more mono-crystal furnaces, and Jing Long Group will have 500 mono-crystal furnaces at the end of 2007, and the annual production capacity will be over 3000 Tons. Jing Long Group has been the largest solar mono-crystal producer in the world for continuous 4 years.

Jing Long Group has nine joint ventures, and is planning to joint venture with one French BIPV company.

China to amend law to reduce energy consumption

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Under heavy pressure to cut energy consumption, China is now turning the spotlight on to construction projects, the transportation sector and government buildings.

China's top legislature on Sunday began deliberating a draft amendment to the Law on Conserving Energy, which details measures to avoid energy waste in the three areas to improve energy efficiency and cut pollution emissions.

Under a five-year plan to 2010, China pledged to cut energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 20 percent, or four percent each year. But, the consumption actually fell by just 1.23 percent last year.

"Achieving the target is highly problematic. Energy consumption in some areas and industries just keeps rising," Fu Zhihuan, chairman of the Financial and Economic Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), told lawmakers in a report.

Fu said energy consumption in these three areas has been rising rapidly. He said they had not been given enough attention and were the "weak link" in China's energy-saving campaign.

Official statistics show that construction accounted for 27.5 percent of China's total energy consumption in 2005, transportation 16.3 percent and government buildings 6.7 percent.

The draft, tabled to lawmakers for a first reading, says that construction project must reach obligatory energy-saving standards and buildings and plants already built will be subject to regular inspection by building authorities.

It also says Chinese cities will gradually replace antiquated central heating with modern household heating systems that can be individually regulated.

Other energy-saving measures include strict control of the indoor temperature of public buildings and restrictions on decorative lighting for large buildings.

China has built 1.06 billion square meters of energy efficient buildings, but the figure represents only 7 percent of the total floor space of existing buildings in urban China, statistics from the Ministry of Construction show.

According to a survey by the ministry in 30 regions, the four municipalities of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing are doing relatively well in implementing energy saving codes, but other regions are a long way behind in technological standards and government supervision.

The draft, which almost doubles the articles of the original law, also requires governments at all levels to increase investment in public transport, improve services and encourage the public to use public transport.

China, once known as the kingdom of bicycles, has overtaken Japan to become the world's second largest auto market after the United States with Chinese people's love for private vehicles showing no sign of abating. The number of privately owned motor vehicles rose 18.8 percent year-on-year to 22 million in China in 2006.

The draft says that the Chinese government encourages the development, production, selling and use of environmental-friendly vehicles and new types of automobile propelled by new clean fuel, in an effort to save energy and cut emissions.

The draft also requires governments at all levels to make energy-saving plans for their office buildings and make the details public.

It bans government from purchasing high energy-consuming equipment, saying that energy-saving products should be the priority in government procurement.

The State Council, or the cabinet, in early June issued a circular, ordering that the temperature of all air-conditioned public rooms in China should be kept at no lower than 26 degrees Celsius.

All government agencies, associations, groups, companies and private owners in public buildings should strictly comply with this rule, according to the circular.

The draft also highlighted energy efficiency in the industrial sector, saying that China will continue to push forward industrial restructuring and technical innovation to gradually weed out outdated production methods.

The six high energy-consuming and highly polluting industries -- electricity, steel, nonferrous metals, construction materials, oil processing and chemicals -- which account for nearly 70 percent of energy consumption and sulfur dioxide discharges of the entire industrial sector, grew by 20.6 percent in the first quarter of 2007, 6.6 percentage points higher than the same period a year earlier.

The government will issue preferential policies in financial investment, taxation, price, credit and government procurement to encourage energy-saving, according to the draft.

The Chinese government has announced a series of measures to cut energy consumption this year in order to meet strict energy efficiency and pollutant reduction targets, which it failed last year.

The State Council has set up a leading group head by Premier Wen Jiabao to oversee the national efforts for energy efficiency and discharge reduction.

Experts believe that by sharpening rules and punishments in the nine-year-old law, China will be able to achieve the widely publicized targets by 2010 and move in the direction of sustainable development.

"If China fails to significantly reduce energy consumption this year, it will be almost impossible for the country to reach the goal by 2010," said Dai Yande, deputy director of the energy institution under the NDRC.

"The draft amendment, which come at a critical moment, will provide a strong legal basis for China to further intensify its energy-saving campaign," Dai said.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Big outlays seen in renewable energy

By Wu Chong (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-22 06:47

The nation saw a remarkable investment flow of $9 billion into the renewable energy sector last year, mostly in wind and solar segments, according to a report released yesterday by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)

The 46-page analysis says globally, investment in sustainable energy investment climbed from $80 billion in 2005 to $100 billion last year, with unprecedented growth in developing countries, particularly China, India and Brazil.

China, the world's largest producer of renewable energy, took a healthy 9 percent of global investment last year, which was helped by significant asset financing activity in the wind, biomass and waste sectors, the report says.

Eric Usher, head of Renewable Energy Finance at UNEP, told China Daily that growth was led by both the Renewable Energy Law the country promulgated last year and the Clean Development Mechanism, a carbon credit trading system under the Kyoto Protocol.

"We also see (in China) a more mature type of investment across the finance spectrum including public market and venture capitals," Usher said in a phone interview.

Chris Greenwood, director of operations in New Energy Finance who co-authored the report, added that State incentives also played a key role. He particularly referred to the government's goal of reducing energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent by 2010 from 2005.

The country is expected to continue embracing growth of 30 to 40 percent in sustainable energy investment this year, with more companies going public and the government's target of enhancing solar and wind power capacity, Greenwood estimated.

China aims to supply 15 percent of primary energy through renewable sources by 2020. Installed wind capacity, for example, almost doubled last year to about 2.3 gigawatts from 2005, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

The UNEP report says that while renewable sources today produce about 2 percent of the world's energy, they now account for about 18 percent of global investment in power generation, with wind generation at the forefront.

Solar and biofuel energy technologies grew even more quickly than wind, but from a smaller base, it adds.

It attributes the growth to a combined effect of global concerns over climate change, increasing energy demands and energy security, in addition to persistently high oil prices, growing consumer awareness of energy efficiency and government incentives.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

China National Gymnasium is Solar Powered

1124 pieces of solar panels have been installed at China National Gymnasium on June 19, 2007.

The output of the solar power system is 100KW, and connected with the power grid to light the 20,000 square meters underground area.

JA Solar will reach solar cell production capacity 225MW in late 2007

JA Solar finishes the second phase production facilities in June, and has begun to test the new production facilities. And JA Solar will have solar cell production capacity of 175 WM in late July, and 225 MW in late 2007.

JA Solar will build 8 more solar cell production lines in 2008, and the production capacity will reach 425 MW in late 2008.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The first solar tower thermal power generation system (70KW) has been approved and accepted in Nanjing, Zhejiang

Original article in Chinese is available on

The first solar tower thermal power generation system (70KW) has been approved and accepted in Nanjing, Zhejiang. This system has reached the advanced international level. And this system has been smoothly working for one year, its performance is quite reliable.

And this system has 4 China's patents and 2 US patents.

It is said China will build one 1 Megat Watts thermal power generation system in 2007. 

China's energy-efficiency drive to create lucrative building market, official

China's construction material industries have a potential market of 1.5 trillion yuan (197.3 billion U.S. dollars) in the next ten years as the government implements its policy to build an energy-efficient society, a government official has said.

"Energy-saving and environment-friendly green buildings will develop into a big industry as the government has pledged that half of China's urban buildings will be energy-efficient by 2010," said Vice Minister of Construction Qiu Baoxing at a forum on green buildings that concluded on Wednesday.

Currently, energy-efficient buildings account for less than one percent of the total in China.
Experts say the industry will drive rapid development of sectors such as heat insulation, gardening, and solar heating materials, and energy-saving doors, windows, lamps, home appliances and the transformation of existing buildings.

Qiu said recyclable materials would also be much more used.

"The Ministry of Construction will soon formulate a series of preferential policies in taxation and bank loans with the finance and taxation ministries to promote the construction of green buildings."

Meanwhile, the ministry would encourage private and foreign investment in the installation of energy-saving technologies and materials in existing buildings, he said.

Source: Xinhua

China Plans for 30% Renewable Energy by 2050

In the June 2007 issue of the China Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development Report from Lou Schwartz, recent developments in renewable energies in China offer insight into that country's burgeoning challenges between population, energy and the environment.

The report cites that the "Persistent rural poverty in China and periodic power shortages all have impressed upon Beijing that renewable energy must be a large part of China's economy if China is to both complete its economic transformation and achieve energy security."

"Between 2005 and 2030, China will account for 23% of the world's investment in power, spending $1.2 trillion U.S.D. in that period," Schwartz notes. "China's ambitious growth target for renewable energy production will require an investment of approximately 800 billion Yuan (~$100 billion U.S.D.) by 2020. In the long term China has set an objective of having 30% or more of its total energy requirements satisfied by renewable sources by 2050."

Current business opportunities, foreign participation, relevant conferences, and production and consumption are also discussed in this month's China Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development Report.

The in-depth report examines developments across China's renewable energy industry, as seen in these excerpts:
- Solar: "The Chinese government has recently announced that large new buildings will all utilize photovoltaic power generating technology."
- Wind: "Researchers at the Jiangsu Province Macroeconomic Research Institute have advocated that large-scale wind power should be directly used to provide electric power to industries, which are large consumers of power."
- Hydropower: "In 2007 there will be another 500 MW of small to medium sized hydroelectric power generating capacity constructed in Guangxi Province."
- Biomass, Biofuels: "China hasn't yet standardized its macro-economic policies with respect to the bio-diesel industry, but it is now formulating and will soon..."
- Laws and Policies: "These sets of issues include the fact that there are more than 10 million Chinese who do not have access to electric power and the often-spotty access to power among tens of millions of other rural Chinese."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Renewable Energy Investments Soar

(AP) PARIS Renewable energy has moved out of the fringe and into the mainstream, with investors worldwide pouring $71 billion of new capital into the sector in 2006, up 43 percent from the previous year, and more is expected, a U.N. report said Wednesday.

Fears about global warming, frustration over high oil prices and growing backing from governments have lured more investment money to renewable energy sources like wind, solar power and biofuels, the U.N. Environment Program said. About a fifth of 2006 investment was in the developing world.

Today renewable energy accounts for only 2 percent of the electricity around the world, however, the report said. Renewable energy makes up 18 percent of the world's investment in generating power.

The trend report analyzed venture capital, the stock market and acquisitions, studying how investment money on renewable energy is being spent around the world. Though high oil prices are helping drive interest in renewable technologies, the field is growing more independent of fossil fuel prices."

One of the new and fundamental messages of this report is that renewable energies are no longer subject to the vagaries of rising and falling oil prices," UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said. "They are becoming generating systems of choice for increasing numbers of power companies, communities and countries irrespective of the costs of fossil fuels."

After $71 billion invested last year, the report forecast $85 billion in new capital pouring into the sector in 2007.

Investment through public markets more than doubled in 2006 to reach $10.3 billion, it said. The biggest growth has been in venture capital and private equity investments, which hit $7.1 billion in 2006, more than twice as much as the previous year.

Developing countries are getting deeper into the renewable energy business, the report found. Investment in the developing world made up 21 percent of the total last year.

Nine percent of worldwide investment took place in China, where large reliance on coal is a world environmental concern and where the lack of oil in its territory is helping motivate efforts to find other energy sources. India is slightly behind China, while Latin America amounted to 5 percent of investment. Sub-Saharan Africa lags, but there is nonetheless interest there.

"The growth in the number of countries who are talking to us about renewables ?it's just unbelievable how that's kind of ballooned in the last 12 to 18 months," said Nick Gardiner, the director of energy at Fortis Bank and a member of the advisory board of UNEP's Sustainable Energy Finance Initiative.

"There's a lot of liquidity around, there's a lot greater understanding of projects now ... renewables is very much considered a mainstream activity, so investors are interested and looking."

China Sunergy to commercialize production emitter cells

Nanjing, (ANTARA News/Xinhua-PRNewswire-AsiaNet) - China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: CSUN), a specialized solar cell manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced today that it has taken further steps to commercialize the production of its selective emitter cells. Selective emitter cells are an improved version of the P-type solar cells currently produced by most solar cell manufacturers.

Following extensive research and development, the Company has been able to achieve small-scale commercial production of its selective emitter cells and also deliver average conversion efficiency rate that has been well above 17 per cent.

Following these promising pilot production runs, China Sunergy is confident that it remains on track to achieve full scale commercial production of selective emitter cells in the second half of 2007.

As part of the move towards full commercial production of selective emitter cells, the Company has already placed an order with Italian based equipment manufacturer Baccini S.P.A. to purchase a printing machine that will allow it to conduct more scalable commercial production runs of these high-efficiency cells in the second half of the year.

The printing machine and other ancillary equipment are expected to arrive in late June and the installation and trial run to be completed sometime in July this year.

Commenting on the development, Lu Tingxiu, Chairman and CEO of China Sunergy said: "The commercialization of our selective emitter cells remains on track and I am pleased with the results our research and development team has achieved.

China Sunergy will continue to focus on developing the technologies required to produce highly-efficiency solar cells and on being an industry leader in this important part of the solar value chain."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Japan cedes solar power lead to Germany; China closing gap

Kyodo News

Germany's solar power output was about twice that of Japan in 2006, according to a recent study conducted by a research organization.

Japan had long been a forerunner in solar power. But in 2005, Germany unseated Japan as the world's largest solar power generating country and the gap in output between the two is widening, according to the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies.

The results of the study by ISEP also suggests Japanese companies, which still control about 50 percent of the world's production of solar power generators, are facing increasingly tough competition from German and Chinese manufacturers.

"Japan's solar power generation will further fall behind other countries if we don't drastically review current energy policies," said Tetsunari Iida, executive director of the nonprofit research body.

Germany's output stood at 3.06 million kilowatts at the end of 2006, increasing by 1.15 million kw from the previous year, ISEP said.

In contrast, Japanese output last year grew by only 250,000 kw, or less than one-fourth of the growth in Germany, to total 1.67 million kw, the research body said.

Sharp Corp. is the world's top maker of solar power generators, with a 30 percent market share. But it did not see much of an increase in production volume from 2005 to 2006, while German and Chinese rivals showed a rapid expansion during the same period, ISEP said.

ISEP's Iida said the Japanese law requiring power firms to generate a certain amount of electricity by using new energy is not functioning.

In fiscal 1994, the government introduced subsidies for individuals purchasing solar power units. This helped the country become and stay the leading solar power country. But in fiscal 2005, the subsidies ended.

AU alumnus to preside at opening of plant in China


Dr. Joel Moskowitz, a 1961 graduate of Alfred University, long-time member of its Board of Trustees, and founder of Ceradyne, Inc., will preside a ceremonies marking the opening of a 98,000-square-foot factory in Tianjin, the People's Republic of China, Wednesday (June 20, 2007).

The plant, which will be owned and operated by Ceradyne Technical Ceramics, will manufacture silica ceramic crucibles to be used in the manufacture of solar cells that will, in turn, allow "our customers… to produce 'clean and green' electricity in China and elsewhere," said Moskowitz.

"We believe this first Ceradyne manufacturing plant will be the beginning of a series of factories in China designed to manufacture advanced technical ceramics for a wide variety of solar, industrial and commercial applications,"Moskowitz noted. "We intend to use this modern factory as the base for additional manufacturing."

He said Ceradyne, Inc., the parent company, hopes to build additional manufacturing capacity in China to serve developing markets there. Once that demand has been met, he said, then Ceradyne Technical Ceramics will begin to address exports.

In his prepared remarks, Moskowitz notes the company's "intention is to fund these capital expenditures with cash generated by Ceradyne with no debt. We plan to have our factory run and managed by Chinese citizens. We are very pleased with long-time Ceradyne executive Ms. Lu Ning, and our Tianjin General Manager Dr. Shuhai Wang, who, coincidentally did his post-doctoral work at Alfred University in technical ceramics. This University, located in New York State, is the same school I graduated from many years ago in 1961, having studied technical ceramics."

In closing, Moskowitz will tell his guests, "We believe China is a major opportunity for us. We will invest capital and introduce advanced technical ceramics in China using this Tianjin facility as a base. We plan to hire Chinese employees and be a profitable, worthy, responsible corporate citizen."

Deli Solar (USA), Inc. Raises $2.75 Million in Private Financing

Posted : Tue, 19 Jun 2007 21:04:00 GMT

NEW YORK, June 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Deli Solar (USA), Inc. (BULLETIN BOARD: DLSL.OB) , a substantial seller of hot water and space heating devices in the People's Republic of China ("PRC"), today announced that on June 14, 2007 it raised $2.75 million in a private placement from the sale of Series A Preferred Stock and Warrants with Barron Partners L.P. as the lead investor investing $2.55 million. The investors purchased an aggregate of (i) 1,774,194 shares of Series A Preferred Stock (ii) five year warrants to purchase 1,774,194 shares of Common Stock with an exercise price $1.90 per share, and (iii) five year warrants to purchase an additional 1,774,194 shares of Common Stock at an exercise price of $2.40 per share. Each share of Series A Preferred Stock is convertible into one share of Common Stock, subject to adjustment. Additional shares of Series A Preferred Stock (not to exceed 900,000) are required to be issued to the investors in the event that the Company fails to achieve certain income targets for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2007 and 2008.

For more information about the terms of this financing please refer to the Current Report on Form 8-K being filed with the SEC on June 19, 2007.

About Deli Solar (USA), Inc.

Deli Solar (USA), Inc. is a domestic holding company owning all the equity capital of Bazhou Deli Solar Energy Heating Co. Ltd. and Beijing Deli Solar Technology Development Co., Ltd., located in the People's Republic of China. It is a substantial seller of hot water and space heating devices to customers in the PRC. Deli Solar (USA), Inc.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

China: A clean-tech gold rush? Valley sees big market

By John BoudreauMercury News
Article Launched: 06/18/2007 01:29:56 AM PDT

ZHANGJIAGANG - Sam Huang has found a new land of opportunity for Silicon Valley - in the shadow of a giant smoke stack in the Yangtze River Delta.

Dressed in a black designer suit, with a Treo attached to his ear, the executive with San Jose-based Echelon, whose smart-building technology is usually associated with gleaming high-rises, paid a recent visit to a new client: China's third-largest steel mill. The plant is trying to go green by using Echelon's products to reduce the energy consumed to forge steel and iron to feed China's around-the-clock construction craze.

Less energy used means fewer tons of coal burned to produce electricity. At the Jiangsu Shagang Group, a vast complex located 100 miles west of Shanghai, that saving could be as much as 65,000 tons a year. It is a tiny step for cleaner technology - and clean air - in a nation that is building coal-fired power plants at an assembly-line speed of one a week.

Silicon Valley companies, which first looked to China to manufacture PCs and iPods, now see potential profit in its environmental meltdown.

They see opportunities to sell a vast range of clean-tech products and services. Those include water filtration systems; green building technologies that reduce energy use; processes to convert waste into biofuels; better wind turbines; solar power technology; "smart" street lights; and even software for energy companies to help manage operations more efficiently.

"Every market is big in China," Huang said.

`Next 24 months': Clean tech expects flood of funding

Gary Rieschel, a veteran valley venture capitalist who relocated to Shanghai, sees a "tidal swell" of interest in the China energy and clean-tech market from abroad. "The wave will occur some time in the next 24 months," he predicted. "Silicon Valley has a huge play here."

Already, venture capitalists are increasing their clean-tech bets in China, from $7 million in 2004 to $222 million last year, according to VentureOne and Ernst & Young. In that same period, venture funding for clean-tech deals in the United States soared from $522 million to $884 million.

Chinese government officials and environmentalists say the only hope to head off environmental catastrophe is through the kind of technology Silicon Valley offers. China's air, water and land are so polluted that environmental hazards kill hundreds of thousands of its people each year. And China's pollution problems are spilling over onto other countries. Dirty air traced back to China can be found in California's skies, and could become a major source of pollution.

Cleaning up China's environment "will require good technological assistance and sheer political commitment," said Hal Harvey, environment program director at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, which funds projects in China.

Doing business in China is never easy for foreign companies, and executives who move into this growing sector face the same challenges others have run into, including corruption, intellectual property theft and a wall of distrust erected by Chinese industry leaders.

But the opportunities in China are too great to ignore, particularly for risk-taking valley entrepreneurs and investors who relish change-the-world business plans.

Some initiatives are driven by personal reasons. Peggy Liu, a former Silicon Valley Internet executive now living in Shanghai, grew tired of watching her two young boys breathe "black air."
So Liu, whose home is outfitted with four air filters, created an international network linking academics, government officials, entrepreneurs and investors on both sides of the Pacific to find practical - and profitable - solutions to China's environmental woes.

"It's the do-good, save-the-world, on-the-edge, it's-OK-nobody-has-figured-it-out-before mentality," said Liu, who in 1996 co-founded an early e-commerce Web site. "I was one of those people."

In early April, she organized a conference on energy for U.S. investors in Shanghai that attracted high-level Chinese government officials and members of the Bush administration ( She then founded the Joint U.S.-China Cooperation on Clean Energy, a network of government officials, investors, industries and researchers to promote innovation in areas such as energy-efficient buildings, transportation systems, non-food biofuels and "clean" coal technology.

High-priced tech: `We may not be able to afford it'

"It's not just the technology that comes out of Stanford University," said Liu, chief operating officer of Mustang Ventures, a $40 million fund focused on investing in start-ups in China. "There is a whole industry of things that will appear, a whole slew of service-based companies."

But for any venture to succeed in China's new and often ruthless market economy, it must produce clear economic benefits, and those can be hard to achieve.

"On the one hand, we want the best technology," Lai Ming, general director of science and technology with the Ministry of Construction, said in his office in one of Beijing's boxy, Soviet-era buildings. "On the other hand, we may not be able to afford it. The Silicon Valley guys may not be able to lower the price."

Selling to this once-closed society requires a very different business model.

"You must find some old China hands, people who understand the government," advised Xiong Sihao, a vice minister who oversees network coordination and information security. "You just can't come here and say, `I have the greatest technology.' Who cares?"

Plenty of patience must be built into any China business plan, said Andrew Hu, who has headed up China operations for Oracle, and is now president of China operations for San Jose's Wyse Technologies. Wyse makes "thin client" devices, desktop monitors that resemble a personal computer but operate on a network and provide significant energy savings.

Wyse, which had trouble getting traction in China, now has a more receptive audience because of the new focus on saving energy. A Wyse device uses about 10 watts per hour, vs. 300 watts for a regular desktop.

"The pollution is killing the environment," Hu said. "The government is trying to do everything to make even the slightest improvements."

While companies trying to crack the clean-tech market in China face many challenges, some can take advantage of its authoritarian government structure.

"You can do things on a scale in China that you can't in the United States," said Charles Freeman, managing director of the China Alliance, an association of law firms. "And the government can demand things on fiat: If you've got a better catalytic converter, the government will actually mandate it."

But there are downsides, added Freeman, who served as the United States' chief China trade negotiator from 2002 to 2005. "Your intellectual property will be pirated. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. The key is to be constantly innovating."

Intematix, a maker of materials for next-generation street lights that are energy-efficient, longer-lasting and non-fluorescent, counters the piracy threat by manufacturing its products in Fremont, then selling them in China.

"Everyone tries to copy," said Chief Executive Peter Larsson. But he added that China is changing and that copycats are increasingly concerned about getting sued.

Cautious optimism: China remains focused on economic growth

Whether China can sustain economic growth while improving its environment remains to be seen. Likewise, Silicon Valley's ability to succeed as a clean-tech partner in China is far from guaranteed.

"All this hype, all these people running around - it reminds me of the bubble," said Shanghai-based venture capitalist Andy Tang, managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson's Dragon Fund in China.

Still, Tang said he is "cautiously optimistic" about the new business environment in China, particularly for companies with clean-tech pitches. Many of the start-ups he has investigated actually have made money.

Rob McCormack, co-founder of Mustang Ventures and husband of Peggy Liu, isn't optimistic that the government has the will to strike a balance between economic growth and environmental protection.

"I go to cities of 400,000, 500,000 and they are just disgusting," he said. "China doesn't care about pollution. They are still going for growth, because growth is stability."

But his wife looks at the country's exploding economy and draws an opposite conclusion.
Driving through Shanghai's Pudong district, a forest of skyscrapers that 15 years ago was farmland, she pointed to yet another nearly completed high-rise. "This building didn't exist a few months go." She sees the same get-it-done drive in the government's campaign to save the environment.

"I think the government is absolutely serious about what they call green GDP," Liu said.

Solarpowergetics Becomes Distributor of Solar Modules for Wuxi Shangpin Solar

Press Release from Solarpowergetics, Inc.
June 19, 2007 - La Jolla, California

Solarpowergetics Inc. (SPG) announced today that it has reached an agreement to distribute crystalline silicon solar cells, modules and dual glass solar modules on behalf of Wuxi Shangpin Solar Energy & Technology Company (China). The agreement is expected to advance SPG into the largest solar markets in the United States, including New Jersey, New York and California.

"We are pleased to offer world-class solar modules at radically reduced prices. Future growth in solar depends on much lower prices, which will stimulate growth for mass consumption. Acceptance of solar power for practical use requires design and integration into simple "plug and play" systems to justify the expense. The agreement with Wuxi Shangpin Solar, along with competitive pricing strategies, will permit us to quickly demonstrate the extreme benefits of solar, wind and thermal power systems in the United States," said Miguel Hidalgo, CEO and President of Solarpowergetics Inc. "We must promote clean energy now to save the planet. Let us reduce the level of carbon emissions, kick our addiction to oil and break away from the toxic Industrial Revolution and move forward into the next century together."

Top 10 Solar Cell Manufacturers in 2005 and 2006

These lists show the market share leaders for manufacturers of photovoltaic cells in 2005 and 2006.

1. Sharp
2. Q-Cells
3. Kyocera
4. Sanyo
5. Mitsubishi
6. Schott Solar
7. BP Solar
8. Suntech
9. Motech
10. Shell Solar

1. Sharp
2. Q-Cells
3. Kyocera
4. Suntech
5. Sanyo
6. Mitsubishi
7. Motech
8. Schott Solar
9. Deutsche Cell
10. BP Solar

Source: Photo International

Chinese challenger aims for top spot in solar tech

By Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET
Published: June 18, 2007, 4:00 AM PDT

Bucking the automation trend, Suntech Power Holdings credits its rise in the solar industry to people, and lots of them.

Rather than use expensive robots, Suntech employs roughly 2,500 workers to assemble solar cells into panels and perform other tasks ordinarily handled by machines. The workers give Suntech a lower operating cost than Western competitors, and there are fewer broken cells, said Steve Chan, vice president of business development at the company.

The factory workers make, on average, about $200 a month, not including housing subsidies, free food and an on-site medical clinic. (It's about half of what a new college graduate earns in China).

Low-tech as it sounds, the approach has led to a Moore's Law-like growth rate for the Shanghai-based company. Suntech, which makes both solar cells and completed panels, was an asterisk in overall market share in 2002. By 2005, it was the eighth largest solar cell maker in the world, according to statistics from Photon International. In 2006, it jumped to fourth and this year passed No. 3 Kyocera in solar cell manufacturing capacity.

Suntech's revenue and profits are following a similar path. Sales in 2006 rose to $598.6 million, more than doubling 2005 revenue, while net income rose by from 30.6 million in 2005 to 106 million last year. Revenue this year will likely hit $1 billion. In 2002, revenue was $3 million.

"We came from nowhere," Chan said. "We were able to grow in the face of an industry shortage of silicon."

Many believe the company now has its eye on toppling Sharp as No. 1 in the industry. Sharp has factory capacity to produce enough solar cells to put out 600 megawatts of power in a year, compared with Suntech's 360 megawatts. By 2010, Suntech expects to have the factory capacity to produce 1 gigawatt of solar cells a year.

"Suntech, longer term, is going to be the Honda Civic of the industry," said Jeff Osborne, an analyst at CIBC World Markets. "My fundamental belief is that 80 to 90 percent of the market, long term, will be a commodity product and the Chinese and Taiwanese are going to dominate that (commodity) sector."

Alternative energy is becoming big business in China. In the past two years, several Chinese solar companies--such as Nanjing's Sunergy, JA Solar Holdings and Solarfun Power Holdings--have held initial public offerings in the U.S. Suntech did it first, in late 2005; because of the IPO, founder Zhengrong Shi is one of the richest men in the country.

Chinese manufacturers have also begun to expand into the market for solar water heaters. Meanwhile, The Jiangsu province has linked up with the Cleantech Network and Tsinghua University to create a clean-tech industrial park.

Not the usual storyBut just when you think this might be another story about how low-cost labor in China will bowl over established Westerners, guess again. Product quality, solar cell efficiency and access to large amounts of silicon remain key considerations and will hinder many of the new entrants from China, said Paula Mints, an associate director for Navigant Consulting. Most of the other Chinese companies have barely made a dent in the market, and price cutting is already trimming their margins.

Then there is the problem of shipping. Solar panels weigh a lot. Shipping them from China virtually eliminates any of the costs saved through cheaper labor, Mints said.

"The shipping costs are significant. You've got to get the stuff across the ocean and then you've got to land it," she said. "Unless the domestic market takes off, the other manufacturers will be challenged."

To address these problems, Suntech is preparing its second act. While trying to beat competitors with lower costs, Suntech will go high-tech in another area. It is building a conveyor belt and robotic system for cell manufacturing that will allow it to shoot for gigawatt-scale output, said Chan. Managing manual laborers "will probably become cumbersome at some point," he said.

Two of the five robotic systems Suntech hopes to one day deploy are already being beta tested.
It is also building its own industrial park near its factories, which will house equipment providers (assembling the robots designed by Suntech) as well as component suppliers, to cut down costs and increase efficiency. The strategy neatly mimics what Dell has done in PCs.

To top it off, the company is wedging its way into thin-film solar cells, roofing tiles with integrated solar cells through the acquisition of a Japanese company, and higher-margin solar cells that can convert more sunlight into electricity than average cells.

"We feel we are going to hit 20 percent efficiency in a few years, but we will do it with a low-cost structure," Chan said.

If the company succeeds, other Chinese companies will follow suit, so what happens over the next few years for Suntech is a big deal in solar.

"The Chinese companies are where we will have to keep our eyes open," said Ron Kenedi, vice president of the Solar Energy Solutions Group at Sharp.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Kunming Heats Up as China's "Solar City"

Ryan Hodum – June 5, 2007 – 5:00am

Traveling across China, it's hard not to notice a unique and environmentally benign technology that has been gracefully integrated into urban buildings and other structures. As solar hot water heaters have grown in prominence over the last 30 years, they are now visible almost everywhere, atop hutongs (traditional alley complexes) in Beijing, on modern apartments in Shanghai, and in farming communities in rural Lijiang.

The heaters consist of a series of cylindrical glass tubes, mounted at an angle, connected to a large water storage tank. Mainland China is now home to as much as 60 percent of the world’s solar hot water heating capacity, and the total installed capacity of the heaters in the country is estimated at 30 million households, according to Eric Martinot, a renewable energy expert and Worldwatch Institute senior fellow based in Beijing.

But it is clear that one city stands out as China's aspiring "solar city", and that is Kunming in the western province of Yunnan. Although Kunming is more often referred to as the "City of Eternal Spring" due to its moderate climate, as one travels toward the city's central district, it is virtually impossible to avoid the glare reflecting from water tanks atop nearly every apartment complex. More than half the city's 4.7 million inhabitants use the solar heaters, according to Sangte Li, CEO of Sangte Solar, a successful manufacturer and distributor of the units in Kunming.

As China's urban population continues to grow each year (by nearly 50 percent in 2007), many apartment renters now expect to get a solar hot water unit along with traditional amenities. "The technology is so cheap it has become commonplace for everyone to have," explains Li. "Most people consider it an included expense as part of their total energy bill.... A solar hot water heater is viewed as a standard appliance by most urban Chinese dwellers."

Sangte Li says the units can be relatively inexpensive to install, with the average heater costing only 1,600 yuan (about US$200). The affordability and prevalence of the units is attributed to the low cost of domestic manufacturing, a competitive market, and plentiful solar resources throughout China. Over the last three decades, the industry has matured as a result of the implementation of government incentive programs, revised building codes, and product certification centers.

The technology is simple and practical. Sunlight passes through an outer glass tube and heats an absorber tube inside; a vacuum in the glass prevents any loss in temperature. A heat pipe then carries the collected energy to the water storage tank, where the liquid is heated. Because the glass tube has a high thermal conductivity, it is able to transfer large amounts of heat with a marginal rise in temperature.

The earliest Chinese models were derived from European technology, but the modern all-glass evacuated vacuum tube used today throughout much of the country was developed and patented by professors at Tsinghua University in Beijing. An average unit is about as wide as a bathtub and roughly 1.5 meters tall. The heated water is used mainly for showers and for washing dishes and clothes.

Kunming is home to many experts in the solar field. The Solar Energy Research Institute at Yunnan Normal University, founded in 1971, consists of four laboratories specializing in solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, biomass energy, and environmental engineering. Through technology cooperation and personnel training, the Institute has played an important role in establishing the solar energy industry in the province. In addition, the Chinese government authorized the formation of three National Solar Water Heating Testing Centers in 2002, one of which is housed at Yunnan Normal. The center provides free testing services to the solar industry to assist in product certification.

One of the more interesting dynamics of China's solar hot water heating market, according to Sangte Li, is the relationship between unit manufacturers and apartment developers. The nationwide construction boom parallels the largest increase in solar hot water heater installations in China's history. Most contracts are bid on the market through a formal competitive process, but Li has obtained much of his work through previous relationships, noting that entire apartment contracts are won based on friendships and a certain level of charisma. He says the market is saturated with solar hot water companies—there are over 2,000 today—making it difficult to differentiate one from the next. "The ability to engage developers and contractors is paramount in this industry," Li observes.

As for Kunming's status as China's premier "Solar City," it will need to remain at the cutting edge of this technology to retain this distinction. The city of Rizhao in northern China, with over half-a-million square meters of solar water heating panels, is quickly gaining notoriety in this renewable technology as well. Competition between universities in Beijing, which have patented the evacuated vacuum tube solar heater, and Yunnan University may be enough to spark the next wave of innovations throughout the country.

First steps toward environmental change

By John Boudreau
Article Launched: 06/17/2007 01:32:37 AM PDT

BEIJING - When Fuqiang Yang looks out the window of his 24-story office in the central business district, he sees promising splotches of blue in the dirty sky.

The researcher with the San Francisco-based Energy Foundation believes the Chinese government is serious about averting an ecological meltdown.

The central government is calling for renewable energy, such as solar and wind, to provide 10 percent of its energy use by 2010, and 16 percent by 2020. That's a difficult goal, say some experts, who point out that California, which leads the United States in use of alternative power, derives about 11 percent of its power from renewable sources.

China also has pledged to reduce water and air pollution emissions by 10 percent and cut energy use per dollar of gross domestic product by 20 percent by 2010, though it failed to meet last year's target.

Hitting the 20 percent energy reduction target, said Wanxing Wang, another scientist with the Energy Foundation, would "save 600 to 700 million tons of coal over five years. That's huge."
"They are very serious," said Vincent Lo, the billionaire Shanghai chairman of the development company the Shui On Group. "As I go around various cities, they don't talk about economic growth. They are more focused on what they are going to do about emissions, the environment.
The total cost of cleaning up the cities will be around 5 percent of GDP every year."

Barry Friedman, who heads up the U.S. Embassy's commercial affairs division in Beijing, said China's government faces strong domestic pressures to act.

"If you ask any Chinese what the top issue is that China faces, there's one thing people in the rural and urban areas agree on: the environment," he said. "For 20 years now, they've been stampeding for economic development. They did not pay much attention to the byproducts of this, which are the environmental problems that are so formidable. Now, they are finally waking up to it."

But even if the central government is getting serious about pollution, it must prod recalcitrant provincial officials, who often are more concerned with economic growth than a clean environment. The central government has begun to tie energy efficiency and pollution mitigation to performance reviews of officials, a critically important move, experts say.

The Chinese government is quick to point out that the cumulative carbon dioxide emissions from developed countries, particularly the United States, have contributed most to global warming.

The United States needs to embrace tough measures before it can expect poor countries such as China to do likewise, said Jiang Lin, a scientist in the China Energy Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which works with Chinese researchers and regulators to improve energy efficiency in China.

"We have the technology, we have the income to take early action," he said. "Hopefully, we can demonstrate to the developing world our moral leadership and we can get them to do this without destroying their economy."

Late last month, President Bush proposed for the first time goals to cut greenhouse gases, which some observers see as a sign the United States finally will take a global leadership role. Critics, though, said the announcement to pursue non-binding limits is aimed at sidelining tougher measures backed by Europeans.

China's government, which is developing large wind and solar energy industries, plans to pay for some of the environmental cleanup by phasing out tax breaks for high-polluting industries.

Leaders in China's Jiangsu province are trying to emulate California's conservation measures. Stricter energy efficiency standards for appliances, power rate structures that encourage energy saving and tough building codes have helped to keep California's per-capita energy consumption the same despite decades of robust economic growth. The central government also has consulted with California officials, PG&E executives and environmentalists on the state's energy policies.

China's new aggressive attitude about environmental cleanup is personified by Ma Jun, director of the Beijing-based non-profit Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, which lists the names of corporate water polluters on a Web site ( Although the government does not publicly endorse his efforts, it has not tried to stop him, even when his work embarrasses influential company bosses.

This grass-roots effort is "sort of a milestone" said Ma, a former Hong Kong journalist. In the next room of his Beijing office, his staff compiled data. Their organization receives funding from foundations and corporate donors.

Attorney Wang Canfa is conducting his own guerrilla war against corporate polluters. Wang, who operates out of a cramped, basement office at the China University of Political Science and Law, has been quietly filing lawsuits against polluters since 1999, successfully winning about a third of his 90 cases. Wang and his partners have shut down 35 factories.

He is training a new generation of Chinese lawyers with expertise in environmental law. "We believe that in the future, environmental protection will be strengthened," Wang said. "We have been changing the laws."

There remains plenty of resistance to change, particularly from rural leaders who worry more about providing jobs than dirtying the air, land and water with pollutants. While the central government works to shut down less efficient, small coal-fired plants, local politicians undercut the campaign, the Energy Foundation's Yang said.

"We have to encourage China," he said. "If they fail, it will damage their reputation. And they won't try again."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Suntech shows off solar tech

WUXI, China, June 15 (UPI) -- Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. announced a demonstration of solar technologies at the Off-Site exhibition at the U.K. Building Research Establishment.

China-based Suntech is one of the world's leading manufacturers of photovoltaic cells and modules.

Suntech's demonstration was of its MSK Building Integrated Photovoltaic system. The installation is part of Kingspan Off-Site's Lighthouse net-zero carbon home, which is the first house design to achieve the British government's Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6.

Kingspan Off-Site is a leading European manufacturer of modern methods of construction.
The Lighthouse was developed by Kingspan Off-Site in conjunction with multiple partner companies and is the first house to co-generate sufficient electrical power to meet the new sustainable home requirements. By 2016, all new homes built in the United Kingdom will be required to be designed and constructed to meet the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6. It is expected that 200,000 new homes will be built annually in the United Kingdom by 2016.

"Suntech is very pleased to have collaborated with the Kingspan Off-Site team, Sheppard Robson architects and Arup consultants to create this high performance solution," said Jerry Stokes, president of Suntech Europe. "Visitors to Off-Site 2007 have been impressed with the excellent integration of the Just Roof PV modules into the building design where the modules function as both an electrical energy generator and the weatherproof roof of the building. This solution offsets some of the building cost as well as providing the annual power requirements for the house."

The project incorporated 57 MSK Just Roof BIPV modules, which replace conventional roofing panels. MSK Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Suntech.

China To Clean Energy For 2008 Games

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Prensa Latina reports that China will power its stadiums during the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games with about 500 KW of solar energy and has pledged to cut dependence from pollutants like coal and oil.

Yu Xiaoxuan, Beijing 2008 vice director for Planning, Construction and Environment, said this weekend they want to improve the clean energy volumes promised during the bid.
More than 64,583 sq. feet of solar panel powers the Olympic Village water heating systems, and its cooling system will recycle drain water and keep the dorms during Beijing’s hot summer at 13 degrees.

Aeolic energy also supplies electricity to the new installations, and a parking lot.

China's Sichuan eyes $1-b wind, solar farms

By Elaine Ruzul S. Ramos

Sichuan Electric Power Co. of China is exploring the possibility of investing at least $1 billion to put up solar and wind farms in the Philippines.

Francis Chua, special envoy for investments to China, said Sichuan officials had met with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Chongqing City during her follow-up state visit to China last month.

He added the company expressed its intent to pursue wind and solar power as well as nuclear-based projects in the Philippines. The projects may require capital infusion of $1 billion to $3 billion, depending on the magnitude.

The Department of Energy had estimated that each megawatt of power generation required an investment of about $1 million.

A 150-contingent of businessmen is coming over to the Philippines from China next month to explore investment prospects.

Chua said Sichuan top officials would be part of the group to look for potential sites in Northern Luzon for the company’s proposed wind project. The company has said it prefers site to be connected to the power grid.

The Philippines is encouraging further investments in the power sector to ensure the stable supply of electricity in the country.

Electricity supply in Luzon is especially critical as the islands run out of enough installed capacity. The energy department said the Luzon grid must have an additional power capacity ranging from 1,990 megawatts to 2,290 mw by 2014 in order to have sufficient supply to meet increased demand for electricity.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Suntech in US$678m take-or-pay deal for solar cell components

Eric NgUpdated on Jun 15, 2007

Suntech Power Holdings, the mainland's largest solar-cell maker by market value, has signed a 10-year contract to buy polysilicon for up to US$678 million to ensure supply for its rapid expansion.

Suntech, based in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, said it had signed the deal with United States-based Hoku Materials, a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed Hoku Scientific, to buy a fixed amount of polysilicon each year at set prices from mid-2009 on a "take-or-pay" basis.

This means Suntech must take delivery of the undisclosed shipments even if they are not needed. The prices were not disclosed.

This form of long-term agreement usually allows the buyer to take advantage of lower spot market prices, at the risk of holding excess inventory.

"Securing a long-term supply of polysilicon from Hoku will enable us to continue to expand our manufacturing capacity and execute Suntech's strategic plan," Suntech chairman Shi Zhengrong said.

Global demand for polysilicon has outstripped supply since 2004, as high fossil fuel prices and incentives offered by governments to develop solar power drove up demand.

Morgan Stanley last year estimated the supply gap to persist until next year, with polysilicon prices to rise 35 per cent this year.

In July last year, Suntech signed a 10-year deal to buy US$5 billion to US$6 billion worth of the material from MEMC Electronic Materials of the US. Suntech also offered financial support to help MEMC expand output capacity.

Similarly, Suntech has agreed to pre-pay Hoku US$47 million even though Hoku's 2,000 tonnes a year plant in Idaho will not be completed until next year.

Suntech late last month raised its production output target for this year for the second time to 325 megawatts from 250MW.

The company also lifted its planned year-end production capacity to 480MW from 390MW. The company aims to raise capacity to 1,000MW by 2010.

The company exports 90 per cent of its output, as the domestic market is still in the early stages, with growth limited by high equipment costs.

However, this situation may change, as the central government has set an aggressive target to increase the solar generation capacity of the mainland from 80MW to 300MW by 2010 and further to 1,800MW by 2020.

Copyright © 2007 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All right reserved

Solar Companies of All Sizes Race To Develop Cheap, Efficient Panels

By LEILA ABBOUD June 14, 2007

In a laboratory in Palo Alto, Calif., engineers testing new, super-powerful solar panels shock them with searing heat and deep cold, then blast them with wind, sand and hail.

The year-long battery of tests aims to assess the reliability of new panels being developed by a start-up called SolFocus Inc. The panels contain curved mirrors that magnify the sun's rays up to 500 times, concentrating them onto a tiny solar cell that converts them into electricity far more efficiently than conventional panels. "We even shot them with BB guns," says Nancy Hartsoch, the marketing director for SolFocus.

How the panels stand up has big implications, and not just for SolFocus, which raised $32 million from venture capitalists last year. Also on the line: whether, after decades of unfulfilled promises, solar power will become a cost-effective alternative to coal and natural gas.

Hampered by its high cost, solar power accounts for less than 1% of world-wide electricity generation. It costs 35 to 45 cents to produce a kilowatt hour of electricity from solar panels, compared with about three to five cents burning coal, according to the International Energy Agency. A different approach, known as concentrating solar power, uses huge arrays of mirrors or solar dishes to track the sun and collect its heat to make electricity. Yet even that costs nine to 12 cents to generate one kilowatt hour.

For now, government subsidies are necessary for solar power to develop, and the biggest markets for it aren't the sun-drenched southwestern U.S. but Germany and Japan, whose generous incentives have spurred growth.

But that equation is beginning to change. SolFocus is one of nearly a dozen start-ups competing alongside established solar giants like Japan's Sharp Corp. to develop a solar panel that is both cheap and efficient. Well-known tech venture capitalists like Apax Partners, Benchmark Capital and US Venture Partners, as well as Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, have poured cash into solar start-ups in recent years. Meanwhile, established leaders in conventional solar panels like Sharp, the U.K.'s BP PLC and Germany's Q-Cells AG have well-funded research labs working on their own technology.

Whoever can come up with the answer will be able to claim a large chunk of the solar-power pie, an $11 billion market that is growing by more than 25% a year. "The race is on," says George Scott, who spent 20 years in the solar industry and now runs a renewable-energy consulting firm in England.

Of course, even if solar power explodes, it won't replace coal as the primary source of electricity anytime soon. "Solar will only be a small part of the solution to global warming," says Christian Reitzberger, who has invested in solar companies for Apax Partners. But solar's environmental contribution is considerable even if it provides only a fraction of the world's electricity because it can kick in when demand is the highest. Usually utilities fire up old, inefficient coal plants when demand is high, invariably spewing out higher levels of greenhouse gases. If solar were used at peak times instead, the world's energy grids would be cleaner and more efficient.

For years, solar panels followed a standard design: large blue or black rectangles made of silicon. The panels, which account for about 90% of today's market, do a decent job of making power, converting anywhere from 12% to 20% of the sun's rays into electricity, depending on clouds, weather and location. But the high cost of silicon makes them far too expensive to compete with coal or gas.

With some 20 states in the U.S. calling for programs to increase the use of renewable energy, solar power is already growing rapidly here. California has set up $2.85 billion in incentives to spur solar power, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling for solar in one million homes. The U.S. Congress is also debating a law to encourage renewable energy sources. Nonetheless, most of the spending on solar installations is happening in Europe, where many governments have set up so-called feed-in tariffs that require utilities to buy electricity made from renewable sources at above-market rates.

First Solar Inc., the largest maker of next-generation solar cells, launched its product on the German market in 2003 and has signed major contracts for solar installations in the not-so sunny climes of Bavaria and Saxony.

Founded in Phoenix, Ariz., in 1999 and backed by a venture-capital firm controlled by Wal-Mart heir John T. Walton, First Solar's "thin-film" panels are relatively cheap because they use only 1% of the costly semiconductor material found in conventional solar panels. But engineers at the company's Ohio plant struggled for years to get their manufacturing process to an industrial scale. The method involves feeding a sheet of glass into a pressurized chamber filled with cadmium telluride gas, which condenses in a thin, uniform layer onto the glass.

"Every time you fix one piece of the production line, another part would go out of whack," says First Solar Chief Executive Michael Ahearn. First Solar ended up spending $100 million and six years to get it right, far more than the initial plan of $40 million over three years.

But it's finally paying off. Revenue grew to $135 million in 2006 from $13.5 million in 2004. The company signed long-term contracts with six European solar-project developers totaling 795 megawatts -- about the size of a coal-fired power plant -- that are expected to bring in $1.62 billion in revenue through 2011. The world's biggest -- 40 megawatt -- solar park is now being built in the Saxony region by Juwi GmbH using First Solar's thin-film cells.

When First Solar went public in June 2006, it was listed on the Nasdaq at $20 a share. It closed at $74.36 yesterday. Mr. Ahearn's goal is for First Solar's panels to compete with fossil fuels even without government subsidies by as early as 2010. "It's a big challenge certainly, but it's not a pipe dream any more," he says.

Many other companies are also pursuing thin-film solar cells, which minimize the use of silicon or eliminate it altogether to drive manufacturing costs even lower. Nanosolar Inc. in Palo Alto has attracted $100 million in venture-capital for its method of printing solar cells on rolls of shiny foil. The company spent two years researching how to make ink filled with nano particles of copper indium gallium selenide and another two years designing the manufacturing.

"The ink is basically the secret sauce," says Martin Roscheisen, Nanosolar's chief executive.
Q-Cells, the second largest maker of traditional solar cells after Sharp, is taking a different approach to next-generation solar technologies. The company has bought, invested in or developed joint ventures with four companies researching four different types of thin-cell technologies. Pilot batches of the cells have been made, and scaling up production of some should start this year, says Q-Cells Chief Technology Officer Florian Holzapfel.

Many in the solar industry are betting that the market will make room for products with different prices and efficiencies. "What works for a solar array on a rooftop in Tokyo wouldn't be the best choice for the desert in Spain," Mr. Holzapfel says.

Friday, June 15, 2007

GT Solar receives $39.5 million contract in China for polysilicon reactors

News & Analysis - New Energy Source

(, June 13, 2007) GT Solar has won a $39.5 million contract to sell polysilicon reactors and converters to the Chinese company, Jiangsu Shunda Electronic Materials and Technology. Shunda's facility near Nanjing, China will produce silicon feedstock for PV cells.
Shunda has committed $2.3 billion RMB investment in photovoltaics and is planning to produce their own polysilicon in the near future, and to become a major player in the photovoltaic market.

In March of this year GT Solar won another reactor contract valued at $49 million with Russian firm Nitol Group.

Check on China: Surging solar

News & Analysis - New Energy Source

(, June 12, 2007) China's solar energy industry is growing, but not everyone will profit. In fact, there will be many losers, most likely the late entrants and smaller players.

For sure, the country's photovoltaic (PV) sector is booming, with the industry now the world's third largest producer of solar-energy technology. Production capacity of the PV cells (the plates that absorb the sun's rays and convert them to electricity) in 2005 rose almost 375%, to 250 MW, from 52.8 MW in 2004, while production capacity of modules¡ªthe panels comprised of the PV cells¡ªgrew 350%, to 400 MW, from 88.8 MW.

International demand for the clean-energy technology, fueled in large part by higher gasoline prices, has resulted in annual growth of around 15%. Some analysts predict that the sector could generate global revenues of up to $40 billion by 2010. China, with its low-cost manufacturing advantages, could seize up to one-forth of the bounty and become the world's number one producer by the end of the decade. The country itself is projected to increase its install PV-electricity production capacity up to 0.3 GW in 2010 and 1.8 GW in 2020.

Such bright prospects have led to an investment frenzy on Chinese solar stocks. The leader of the pack is Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the country's largest PV manufacturer whose IPO listing on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2005 was the largest for the year for a technology company. Smaller cap companies include Trina Solar Limited (NYSE: TSL), Canadian Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: CSIQ) Solarfun Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: SOLF), and China Sunergy Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: CSUN). The newest to join the crowd is LDK Solar Co. Ltd. (NYSE: LDK), which had its IPO on June 1.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hebei, China: JA Solar Revises Wafer Supply Agreement with M.Setek

From Solarbuzz June 11, 2007

Chinese solar cell manufacturer, JA Solar and M.SETEK, a privately-held Japanese company and one of the world's largest monocrystalline ingot and wafer manufacturers, have revised their supply agreement.

M.SETEK will supply larger quantities of wafers from July 2007, and the payment terms are also restructured from single payment to three installments. The original agreement was entered into in December 2006 and the revised agreement was entered into on June 5, 2007, about two weeks after the inauguration ceremony of M.SETEK's brand new polysilicon material plant in Soma, Japan.

The new agreement starts with 300,000 wafers per month being delivered in the period July 2007 to October 2007, rising in steps to 5,000,000 wafers per month by the July 2009 - December 2009 timeframe. The contract has a total value of $100 million.

"At the time of tight supply of feedstock of poly-silicon in solar industry, this agreement enables JA Solar to be in a more comfortable position," said Samuel Yang, JA Solar's Chief Executive Officer. "M. SETEK is a highly respected and reliable supplier of high quality monocrystalline wafers. We are delighted to have strengthened the partnership with M.SETEK in our supply chain. This long-term agreement, combined with other supply agreements previously negotiated with key partners, gives us confidence that JA Solar will be able to meet the expected demand levels we are seeing from customers, while maintaining our strict focus on profitability."

Jiangsu, China: Canadian Solar and City Solar AG Partner on Large-Scale Solar Farm Projects

From Solarbuzz

Chinese solar cell and module manufacturer, Canadian Solar has commenced delivery of solar modules to City Solar AG, Germany for a series of large-scale, ground-mounted solar farm projects.

The deliveries are part of an annual project sales contract CSI signed with City Solar in January, 2007 to supply approximately 31 MW of solar modules to 7 specific projects in Germany and Spain. About half of the projects are expected to be completed before December 31, 2007. The contract is worth approximately 80 to 90 million Euro.

CSI expects to deliver 4.2MW solar modules by July 2007 for the first project in Germany. Deliveries for the other projects are expected to start in June and July, 2007.

Dr. Shawn Qu, CEO of CSI, commented, "We continue to execute our two-leg strategy in sales, which emphasizes long-term partnerships with both tier-one regular distributors and top-notch project-based companies. Our collaboration with City Solar clearly demonstrates the success of this strategy. Project-based channel sales like this one allow us to plan our production several quarters ahead, in order to provide stability to both CSI and its customers."

Mr. Steffen Kammler, CEO of City Solar, AG, commented, "City Solar's vast experience in multi-MW scale solar project development, planning and implementation, brings turn-key solutions to commercial renewable energy investors. We have developed unique mounting and panel matching technologies. Combining our expertise with the outstanding quality of CSI modules will help us to provide the best-performing and the most cost-effective solar systems to the market place."

Jiangsu, China: Canadian Solar Breaks Ground on 250 MW Module Manufacturing Facility

From Solarbuzz

Chinese solar module manufacturer, Canadian Solar Inc (CSI) has held a ground breaking ceremony for the new 250 MW module manufacturing facility for its plant in Changshu, China, located about 100 km west from Shanghai.

The first phase of the new facility is 20,000 square meter in area and is expected to be completed by November of 2007. When finished, the first phase facility will have a module production capacity of 250 MW. Construction is expected to start in June after receiving final building permits.

CSI has also concluded a 2007 annual sales contract worth 45 million Euro with a leading German customer. CSI has already started to deliver to this contract in March, before official signing, due to immediate demand for the products.

Dr. Shawn Qu, CEO of CSI, said, "We continue to execute our business expanding strategy as planned in order to support our customers' demands and forecasts. Our insistence on quality products and services is paying off. The strong demand we are seeing exemplifies CSI management's strategies of branding CSI as Tier-One in quality and to form long-term partnership with Tier-One distributors in every geographic market. This annual contract, with firm pricing and delivery schedules until the end of year, serves as another example of such a partnership which brings business security and visibility to both CSI and its customers."

Sector Glance: Solar Cell Makers Up

Associated Press 06.13.07, 4:31 PM ET

Shares of solar cell makers climbed Wednesday after the U.S. Senate began debating a federal energy bill that could give the companies greater support.

Democratic Congressional leaders are looking to raise fuel efficiency standards and toughen punishments for oil price gouging. One Senator plans to propose a requirement that 15 percent of a utility's power come from renewable sources, including solar power.

Cowen & Co. analyst Rob Stone said a tax credit for solar energy investment would probably be included in the final version of the bill.

Here are how some key players in the sector fared Wednesday:

Trina Solar Ltd. shares jumped $1.86, or 4.8 percent, to end at $41.05.

First Solar Inc. stock rose $3.32, or 4.7 percent, to $74.36, and set an all-time high of $74.73.

JA Solar Holdings Co. gained $1.13, or 4.6 percent, to $25.68.

LDK Solar Co. added 80 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $24.

China Sunergy Co. picked up 41 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $11.42.

Solarfun Power Holdings Co. Ltd. advanced 25 cents, or 3 percent, to finish at $8.53.

Shares of Evergreen Solar Inc. moved up 40 cents, or 4.7 percent, to $8.88.

BTU International Inc. climbed 41 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $13.40.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Solar Water Heater Price in China

China is the largest producer of solar water heater in the world, and China is exporting more solar water heaters to the international market.

I talked with some solar water heater makers last week, and they told me that their distribution price for 300 liter solar water heater system is just about Euro 300.00, FOB China. And at present the retail gas water heater system in China is about Euro 160.00, while the retail 100 liter solar water heater system is almost the same price.

Friday, June 8, 2007

World's 1st solar-powered mobile developed in China

BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese company says it has developed a mobile phone that uses solar energy to recharge itself and can provide 40 minutes of talk-time after sitting in the sun for an hour.

Hi-Tech Wealth, a well-known telecommunication products supplier in China, claims its mobile phone is the world's first solar power to recharge its battery.

The company says a scale-like solar panel on the top side of the clamshell-designed phone can also be recharged by light from other sources including candles.

Hi-Tech Wealth says it has developed the most advanced solar power technology and owns eight patents and has applied for numerous others.

Many companies around the world are working on similar mobile phones but their products are still at the experimental stage, said an official with Hi-Tech Wealth.

Zhang Zhengyu, chairman of Hi-Tech Wealth, said the company began researching the use of light as an energy source in 2000 and has invested hundreds of millions of yuan.

"With more than 400 million mobile phones in the country, China would save a great amount of electricity if all its mobile phones were recharged by light," Zhang said, adding that the lifespan of the battery in the new phone is 2.5 times longer that traditional batteries.

In March, Hi-Tech Wealth exhibited its light energy mobile phones at the world's largest electronic, IT and telecommunication products trade show CeBIT in Hanover, Germany.

The company plans to put six of its light energy mobile phones on the market this year, and another 30 next year.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Historical Review of Solar Energy

The history of utilization of solar energy in recent times can be calculated from the year of 1615 when French engineer invented the prototype solar-driven engine in the world. The invention was regarding a pumping machine, which the air was heated by utilizing the solar energy to expand to do work on drawing water. During the period of 1615 to 1900, many sets of solar-powered device and other solar energy device were developed in the world. All of these device were mostly employed photospot method to collect the sunlight, which the power of engine was not so effective, and actuating medium were mainly the water steam that were expensive in cost and impractical in value. Most of the machine were designed and manufactured by the fans of solar energy.

In the hundred years of 20th century, the history of the solar energy technologies development can be divided into 7 stages which will be introduced respectively as follows:

1. The First Stage (1900---1920)

In this stage, the research focus of solar energy in the world were still on the solar-powered device which variable photospot method were applied and flat plate heat collector and low boiling point actuating medium were started to use; the capacity of the device was gradually expanded with the max. output power of 73.46kW; device was utilized with the definite end-use and in higher cost.

The typical built device included: one set of solar energy pumping device constructed in California of U.S in 1901 which employed truncation taper photospot with the power of 7.36kW; 5 sets of twin-circulated solar-powered engine built in U.S in 1902 to 1908 which employed the flat plate heat collector and low boiling point actuating medium; 1 set of solar energy pump comprised of 5 parabolic mirror in a length of 62.5m, width of 4m built in Cairo of Egypt in which the total light collecting area could reach 1250m2.

2. The Second Stage (1920-1965)

For these 20 years, the research of solar energy was implementing on the poor stage, which the mandate to participate in the development and the research projects had been widely declined due to the mass utilization of fossil fuels and the second world war (1935---1945) while the solar energy couldn’t satisfy the urgent demand upon the energy. Therefore, the research and development of solar energy was due to be gradually deserted.

3. The Third Stage (1945-1965)

For these 20 years after the Second World War, some foresight person has noticed that the petroleum and natural gas resources had been rapidly decreased and called for attention on these issues in order to gradually promote the recovery and development of the solar energy research. Solar energy institutes were setup and academic exchanges and exhibitions were held which raised the research upsurge again on solar energy.

In this period, great progress was achieved in the research of solar energy, in particular: the foundation theory of selective paints proposed in the First International Solar Thermal Academic Conference in 1955, which black nickel had been developed as the practical selective paints, contributing to development of high-effective heat collector; the practical silicon solar cells developed by Bell Lab in U.S in 1954 which laid the foundation for large scale utilization of photovoltaic generation.

Furthermore, there were still other significant results, including:

a. One set of 50kW solar stove was built by French National Research Center in 1952;
b. The worldwide prototype ammonia-water absorbing air conditioning system heated by flat plate heat collector with the capacity of 5 tons was built in Florida of U.S in 1960;
c. An engine equipped with silicon window was invented in 1961.

In this stage, research on foundation theory and foundation material of solar energy was reinforced and academic breakthrough, i.e. selective paints and silicon solar cells were achieved. The flat plate had been well developed and ripe in technologies. Progress had been achieved in the research of solar energy absorbing air conditioners and a batch of pilot solar room was established. Preliminary research was conducted on the engine and tower type solar-powered generation technologies.

4. The Fourth Stage (1965---1973)

In the stage, the research work on solar energy was standstill due to the reason that the utilization technologies of solar energy had entered into the growing stage which was no ripe in process, heavy in investment and lower in effect. Thus it cannot compete with conventional energy, which resulted in the absence of attention and support from the public, enterprise and government.

5. The Fifth Stage (1973---1980)

After petroleum played a leading role in the worldwide energy structure, it has been a key factor to control the economic and determine the fatal, development and declining of a country. After the explosion of Middle East War at Oc., 1973, OPEC employed the method of declining the production and increasing the price to support the struggle and safeguard the national benefits which resulted in heavy economic attack for those countries that relied on importing large amount of inexpensive petroleum from the region of Middle East. Thus, some people in the western countries were frightened to call that the energy or petroleum crisis had been launched in the world. This crisis made people realized that the existing energy structure should be completely changed and transition to the future energy structure should be speed up.

From that on, many countries, especially the industrialized countries turned their attention towards the support on the research and development of solar energy and other renewable energy technologies. The upsurge of developing and utilizing solar energy had been raised again in the world. In 1973, U.S drew up a government scale sunlight power generation program which the research budget for solar energy were increased in a large amount, and solar energy development bank was to established to facilitate the solar energy products to be commercialized. In 1974, Japan published the sunlight program made by the government, among which the solar energy development projects included solar room, industrial-use solar energy system, solar thermal generation, solar cells production system, scattered and large scale photovoltaic generation system. In order to implement this program, the government of Japan input large amount of manpower, material resources and financial resources.

The upsurge on the utilization of solar energy raised in 1970s in the world also impacted on China. Some foresight technicians started to devote to the solar energy industry one after another and positively proposed to the relative department of the government and published books and periodicals to introduce the international trends on the utilization of solar energy. Solar stove was popularized and utilized in countryside; solar water heater was launched in the city; solar cells used in space have started to be applied in the ground. In 1975, the first national solar energy utilization working exchanges conference held in An yang, Henan Province further promoted the development of solar energy industry in China. After this meeting, the solar energy research and promotion had been brought into the government program and awarded support of specialized fund and material. In some universities and institutes, solar energy task team and research departments were established one after another. Solar energy research institutes were also launched in some places. At that time, an upsurge on utilization of solar energy was emerging in China.

During this period, research and development of solar energy entered into an unprecedented well-developed stage with the following characteristics:

a. Each country enhanced planning on solar energy research. Many countries worked out short term and long-term sunlight program. The utilization of solar energy had been a governmental action with intensive support. The international cooperation was very active which some developing countries had started to participate in the utilization of solar energy.
b. The research field was expanding; research work was developed day by day and significant results achieved, for example, CPC, vacuum heat collecting pipe, non-crystal silicon solar cells, water-photolyzed hydrogen production and solar energy thermal power generation.
c. The solar energy development program worked out by each country existed the problems that the requirement was too high and urgent and insufficient expectation on difficulty in implementation. They have thought to replace the mineral energy in the short time and to utilize the solar energy in large scale. For example, U.S has once scheduled to build a small size solar energy demonstration satellite power station in 1985 and one set of 5 million kW space solar energy power station in 1995. In fact, this program has been adjusted in later, and the space solar energy power station has not yet been realized.
d. Products such as solar water heater and solar cells were started to commercialize. The solar energy sector has been preliminarily established with a small scale and ineffective economic effects.

6. The Sixth Stage (1980-1992)

The upsurge on utilization of solar energy emerged in 1970s was fallen into a stage of being developed in a low and slow step in 1980s. Many countries in the world declined the research budget for solar energy in successive in a large amount, in particular the U.S.

The main reasons resulted in this situation were that the international oil price was corrected in a large range while solar energy product cost was still remaining as before which may be of no competitive capability; no any significant breakthrough on solar energy technologies to increase the efficiency and reduce the cost which led to break down people’s confidence to develop solar energy; increased development on nuclear power which may restrain on a certain degree on the development of solar energy.

Influenced on the turndown of solar energy in the worldwide in 1980s, research work in China also declined in a certain degree. Due to the reason that the utilization of solar energy was heavy in investment, ineffective in results, difficult in energy storage and large in land covering, solar energy should be considered as the future energy. Some person even proposed that the technology could be introduced after it would be developed successfully. Only few people supported such viewpoint, but it was very harmful which will result in unfavorable influence on the development of solar energy industry.

During this period, although the research budget has been mitigated in a large amount, the research work remained uninterruptedly, among which some projects achieved progress which facilitated people to investigate seriously on the program and goads worked out before and to adjust the research focus so that to strive for great achievement by less input.

7. The Seventh Stage (1992---Until Now)

Excessive burning of fossil fuel led to worldwide environmental pollution and ecological destruction, which has been threatened the substance and development of human beings. Under such circumstance, UN held the international environment and development conference in Brazil in 1992. On this meeting, a series of important document were published including the Environment and Development Manifesto, Agenda of 21st century and UN Framework Pact on Climate Changing in which the environment and development were brought into the integrated framework, and sustainable model was established. After this conference, each country enhanced the development of clean energy technologies, and developed the solar energy in line with the environmental protection so as to make the utilization of solar energy be well developed.

After this conference, Chinese government also turned their attention towards the environment and development and pointed out 10 pieces of tactic and measure definitely to develop and popularize the clean energy including solar energy, wind energy, thermal energy, tidal energy and biomass energy in accordance with the reality; worked out Agenda of 21st century in China and further focused the solar energy projects. In 1995, the State Planning, the State Economic and Trade Commission, the State Ministry of Science and Technology worked out the Outline for Development of New and Renewable Energy from 1996 to 2010, which definitely pointed out the goads, objectives and relative tactic and measure towards the development of new and renewable energy from 1996 to 2010 in China. The publishing and implementation of the document further promoted the development of solar energy industry in China.

In 1996, UN held the worldwide solar energy summit conference in Zimbabwe. The Solar Energy and Sustainable Development Manifesto was published after the meeting. Important document, i.e. Worldwide Solar Energy 10-Year Action and Program (1996---2005), International Solar Energy Pact, Worldwide Solar Energy Strategic Planning were discussed during the meeting. This meeting further showed each country’s commitment to developing the solar energy. Worldwide joint action was required to extensively utilize the solar energy.

After 1992, the worldwide utilization of solar energy has entered into a developing stage with the characteristic that:
a. The utilization of solar energy can be consistent to the sustainable development and environment protection, and can be carried out jointly to realize the development strategy in the world;
b. Definite development goals with focus projects and effective measure, which will be favorable to overcome the shortage to ensure the long-term development of solar energy industry;
c. In the course of expanding the research of solar energy, attention was paid to convert the academic results into production, develop solar energy industry, speed up the progress to be commercialized, expand the utilization field and scale and increase the economic benefits;
d. Active international cooperation in the field of solar energy with expanding scale and obvious effect.

In view of the review, the development of solar energy in the 20th century was not so smooth. Generally speaking, low tide period was happened after every high tide period. The low tide period lasted for nearly 45 years. The development of solar energy differed with that of coal, petroleum and nuclear energy in understanding and development period, which could be demonstrated that it was very difficulty to develop the solar energy and it cannot be realized to large scale utilize in the short term. On the other hand, it was showed that the utilization of solar energy was also affected by the supply of mineral energy, politics and war. However, in a word, the solar energy has achieved greatly in academic results in 20th century than in any other century.