Thursday, September 27, 2007

China's solar industry growing too slowly - report

September 27, 2007: 02:19 AM EST

Sep. 27, 2007 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) -- BEIJING (XFN-ASIA) - China is failing to take full advantage of its solar power (OTCBB:SOPW) potential, and the rate of capacity growth is still too slow, according to an industry report.

Although the government aims to lift total solar power capacity to 10,000 megawatts by the end of 2030, the figure had not yet reached 100 MW by the end of last year, according to the report, published by Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Federation and the China Association for the Comprehensive Utilization of Resources, and cited in the official People's Daily.

The pace of growth is also extremely slow, with only about 10-15 MW of additional capacity created over the whole of last year.

Most of the raw materials for the solar power industry are imported, while about 90 pct of the finished panels are sold abroad, the report said, and China still has not developed its own silicon supplies to support the industry.

Kong Li, the vice-secretary of the China Academy of Renewable Energy, told The People's Daily that the cost of producing photovoltaic panels is still too high, and popular awareness of the advantages of renewable energy is insufficient.

The government is only paying lip service to the development of the industry, he said.

At the beginning of this month, the government released its medium- to long-term development plan for China's renewable energy industry, and said that the country's total solar generation capacity would reach 1,800 MW by 2020.

The government also aims to lift the proportion of renewable energy in its total consumption to 15 pct by 2020.

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