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Future Energy: China leads world in solar power production

Ten years ago, Geof Moser had just graduated with a master’s degree in solar energy from Arizona State University – but he didn’t feel much opportunity lay at his feet in his home country.

So he headed for China.

“The solar industry was fairly small and there weren’t a lot of jobs,” he remembers. “Just a few for installation.” But the Chinese government had big ambitions to expand solar and Moser saw his chance.

He spent some years accumulating knowledge about the Chinese solar industry, before co-founding Symtech Solar, which designs solar panel systems using Chinese parts.

Market access

The idea is to make it easy for organisations outside China to access components without the hassle of having to source and assemble lots of different parts.

“You don’t want to buy a car door or a car engine, you want to buy a car,” he explains.

Symtech now has a portfolio of small projects dotted around the world and it is hoping to increase installations in the Middle East, thanks to a new office in Oman.

Moser isn’t the only US entrepreneur who turned to China. Alex Shoer, of Seeder, helped to launch a business that brings solar panels to the roofs of buildings within the country.

He deals with foreign businesses who, say, want to make their Beijing office a little greener. The firm says it has so far erected three megawatts’ worth of solar installations, with another 28 megawatts on the way for various clients.

“We will source the capital to finance, pay for the whole project and then sell the power at a discount,” Shoer says. Again, the model relies on sourcing the right parts at a favourable cost.

These kind of installations are known as “distributed generation” projects, in which electricity is produced on a small scale, at or very near to a specific point of consumption.

Within China, distributed generation is growing at an extraordinary rate, driven in large part by farmers who use the panels to power agricultural equipment that might not be connected to the grid.

Shoer comments that he was attracted by Beijing’s commitment to the solar industry. For years it has encouraged local authorities to do what they can to boostproduction, research and development.

Renewables growth

China’s rapid expansion of renewable energy facilities has since caught headlines around the world.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the country installed more than 34 gigawatts of solar capacity in 2016 – more than double the figure for the US and nearly half of the total added capacity worldwide that year.

Early figures for 2017 show China has added another eight gigawatts in the first quarter alone.

“It’s a huge market,” says Heymi Bahar at the IEA. Most of the world’s solar cells are made in China and Taiwan, he adds – more than 60%.

The impressive scale doesn’t stop there. The largest solar farm in the world – Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, all 30sq km of it – is a Chinese project. And the country recently opened the world’s largest floating solar farm, in Huainan, Anhui Province.

It has been constructed over an old coal mine, which over the years had filled with rainwater. Sungrow, the Chinese firm that provided solar cells for the venture, says its system automatically monitors current and voltage generated by the cells, along with humidity, which can affect their efficiency.

Because of the abundant water nearby, cleaning the panels – an endless task for solar farmers – will be easier, according to those behind the facility.

These mega projects have become possible, and indeed more common, thanks to the rapidly falling cost of solar cells.

“What we were all hoping for 20 years ago when the idea of cheap solar was just a dream, was that someone would come into this on an industrial scale and drive down the cost,” recalls Charles Donovan, at Imperial College Business School.

“That is exactly what China has done.”

But today, solar energy production accounts for just 1% of China’s total energy demand. A huge 66% of demand still comes from coal, something that the country’s National Energy Administration wants to change drastically by 2050 – not least because of China’s well-known air pollution problems.

But by that key date of 2050, a very different mix of energies could be powering China, should some projections become reality. One government report even suggested that renewables could supply 86% of the country’s energy needs, with solar providing around a third of that.

Can China do it? According to one expert observer, the answer is, “maybe”.

“What China is trying to do is rationalise a very large, fast growing system,” explains Jeffrey Ball at Stanford University’s Center for Energy Policy and Finance. Ball is the lead author of a recent report that details China’s success as an innovator in the solar panel industry.

Lofty ambitions

But as Ball points out, the revolution has not been without teething issues. For one thing, Chinese subsidies, which some argue are unsustainable, have not always been smoothly administered. The “feed-in tariff”, for example, often offered to solar companies that generate electricity, has sometimes been paid late.

“The government is often a year or more late in delivering that revenue – that wreaks havoc with the financials on a project,” says Ball.

The value of subsidies has recently been cut, too. What’s more, China’s large solar farms are largely in less densely populated areas in the west of the country, far from population centres like Beijing or Shanghai, in the east.

Building extra grid capacity to transfer it is time-consuming and expensive. This leads to a problem known as curtailment – a solar farm produces, say, 20 megawatts of electricity but can only find buyers for 15 megawatts.

More from Future Energy

“Depending on who you talk to in the provinces that have by far the largest amount of solar production, curtailment rates are 30% and in some cases significantly higher than 30% – that’s extraordinary and that’s a real problem,” explains Ball.

Whether China can achieve its lofty ambitions for renewable energy remains to be seen – but it has certainly proved its ability to foster a world-leading solar industry. For US entrepreneurs like Geof Moser, that’s enough to propel his own business towards further growth for now.

“The reality is that renewable energy is very cheap – especially solar energy,” he says. “And the reason is China.”

Reference link: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40341833









经过五十余年的雾霾斗争,立法,设空气质量委员会,限排,清洁汽油,清洁燃料,洛杉矶终于还市民一片蔚蓝的天空。但是,全城供电仍然靠化石燃料—天然气发电。多年来,洛杉矶供电的传统方法是这样的:一到夏日下午峰电时刻,电力工程师就会打开他们所称的“峰电厂” (Peaker),也就是位于长滩一个天然气发电厂。有了它,其他电厂就能放心满足上午峰电需求,人们下班之后也能舒舒服服打开空调,电视机,以及享受其他电器。




但是,这个峰电厂在2015年10月发生了灾难性的甲烷泄漏事件,导致洛杉矶在之后的近一年内供电压力山大,不断面临随时全城停电的风险。所以,政府令当地电力公司南加州爱迪生公司立即执行能源解决方案的采购计划,在各大能源公司争相竞标之后,政府决定不再用另一个峰电厂替代这个峰电厂,而是不破不立,不再继续使用传统的天然气发电厂供应峰电期用电,改用庞大的电网储能电池系统。中标的AES Corp,阿灵顿的可再生能源公司将为洛杉矶设计并建造的全世界最大的储能锂电池,能够每小时供电十万度,并持续4小时。








洛杉矶这个清洁能源的华丽转身,既能在政策上完成指标,无需消耗额外的化石资源,在2050年将温室气体排放减少80%; 也可以通过充分利用太阳能和风能等可再生能源,实现可持续经济发展。这是也是堪称历史性的时刻,可再生能源储能系统首次在政府采购方案中战胜了传统的天然气发电厂。这个五年储能电池建设计划,让洛杉矶摆脱“雾都”阴影,成为一名“战士”:在改善空气质量,对抗全球变暖的斗争中越战越勇。




在洛杉矶选中AES Corp设计建造储能电池这个五年长期合同之外,为解当下用电燃煤之急,洛杉矶再次毅然决然地拒绝了化石燃料的诱惑,在为期3个月的短期公共能源储存计划中选中了特斯拉,令其在2016年年底前制造、运输与安装完毕一套20 MW/80 MWh的Powerpack储能系统。完全充电时,该系统将可支持超过2500个家庭的日用电,或为1000辆特斯拉汽车提供电力,满足为1500万居民提供电力的南加州爱迪生公司电力基础设施的正常运行。





另外一家加拿大能源公司AltaGas Ltd. 也赢得了20 MW的合同。于此之外,据彭博社清洁能源财经统计,加利福尼亚州安装储能电池系统所需的时间也越来越短, 为电池储能全面推广的铺下了良好的基础。比如,加州的圣地亚哥也在同年8月与AES Corp签约,建造容量为37,5兆瓦的储能电池。













那全球气温是怎么样一步一步走到今天的呢?国外有张GIF图被传疯了。没有大理论,气象科学家Ed Hawkins用一张图就说的清清楚楚。


那7月又是一年最热的一月,NASA又画了另外一张曲线图,用数据告诉你今年夏天到底有多热! 气温已经失控,上升快2度了!



Source: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=88607

NASA还说,8000年来,地球从来就没有集中过这么多的二氧化碳! 联合国气候变化专门委员会(IPCC) 主席李恢成表示,“关注碳排放,已经成为我们每个人的责任“。






运用曦得光伏计算器,可以直接知道每1000平方米屋顶光伏每年可以发电约107350kWh, 减少碳排75吨。因此,如果大家的屋顶都装上光伏,到2030年,可以减排48.75亿吨,相当于减少2005年我国碳排放量的一半以上。








但是在中国做事,事事不易,舒文华创立自己的思得清洁能源公司这三年来,也此也深有感触。他意识到,大多数公司和建筑业主都不想在非主流项目上投资,比如环保项目。 即便中央政府正大力推动减少对煤电的依赖,大部分企业家还是不愿意在环保上投入自己的资金。




“思得的重要作用在于,它不仅仅是让那些在中国运营的跨国公司意识到能源管理的商机,同时还找到了落实的办法,”亚洲蓝天能源首席执行官Tienyu Sieh表示。亚洲蓝天在全亚洲寻找能源管理项目,是思得融资伙伴之一。


China air pollution from above






tongzhou 1




一个典型思得项目是这样的: 首先鉴定客户,制定合作的框架,包括安装太阳能系统的费用,以及日后节省下来的电费。项目还有另一个赢利渠道,就是余电上网而获得的国家补助资金。公司必须同意签署20年的合同,电费通常会下降10-15个百分点。



kunshan copy






“到头来,外资公司最关键就是要找到自己的独到之处,让那些客户没有自己就没办法得到某些利润”Shoer说, “要观察市场需要什么,政府支持什么。行动迅速,坚持价值定位及保持合作是成功的关键。光伏是造福社会的行业,我们的目标不是与现业界人士竞争,而是与之合作。”