Tuesday, November 25, 2008

China: Solar energy development still faces setbacks

From China Daily via China.org:

One of the universal problems with solar power is that it costs more than electricity generated by conventional means. And the absence of a preferential governmental policy is another factor further holding back its development in China.

A group of Chinese solar power experts and scholars, attending a recent US-China Green Energy Conference in Beijing, have called for the government to issue a set of policy incentives to boost the country's solar power industry, just as it did for the wind power sector.

The Chinese government detailed its incentive policies for the wind industry in its new Renewable Energy Law and it also set an ambitious target to have 30GW of wind power by 2020.

"The government has showed their support for the wind industry, but it never did so for the solar industry," says State Council counselor, Shi Dinghuan. "Without an articulate and practical pricing mechanism for on-grid solar electricity or government subsidies, solar electricity will not have a market here in China.

"The Renewable Energy Law has been effective for two years, but it has not really benefited tohesolar power industry," he added.

Statistics shows that there are more than 70 grid-connected PV projects in China, but only two of them received feed-in tariffs, and most of them have not benefited through the Renewable Energy Law....

...His voice was echoed by many other scholars at the meeting, who also think government subsidies would give the solar industry the ability to invest in research and development so that it can further cut costs.

"China is a giant in solar PV production, but it is definitely a dwarf in putting them in use," he says....MORE