China Installed The Most Solar in 2013! China May Possibly Become The Cleanest Country On Planet Earth!

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Sun Will Continue Shining Brightly During Year of the Horse (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

I’ve spent three years advocating for the spread of solar energy, researching, interviewing, learning, writing, posting, traveling in different parts of the world.  Thanks to the existence of internet, worldwideweb, social networks, and forerunners who have accumulated and shared much knowledge and information with us. It’s truly opened my eyes to what the future may have in store for us, in energy, education, and how intricately connected we earthlings all are to one another (despite physical distances).  Even though my original intention of starting Sun Is The Future was to help my on-site students to have better understanding of applications of solar energy and to encourage state of Florida legislators to implement the most effective incentive policy, Feed-In-Tariff, for adoption of renewable energy,  I  am thankful that Sun Is The Future has reached beyond the boundary of a nation or a continent, and has reached 167 countries and hopefully will complete the goal of all 196 nations on planet earth by the end of 2014.

Let The Sun Shine Through (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

This past year, in addition to having the fastest train, the most megacities, and the biggest population in the world, China has also become the Number 1 Country on planet Earth that has added the most solar power in a single year. No other country has ever added more than 8 GW (gigawatt) of solar power in one year prior to 2013.  China is beating Germany’s record of  8GW (or 8,000 MW) from 2010. China’s National Energy Administration announced earlier in January that there were 12 GW (or 12,000 MW) of 2013 solar installations in China. This record means that China has installed more in one year of 2013 than U.S. had cumulatively installed, in total, since the beginning of solar PV module in existence or since the founding of U.S. The Bloomberg New Energy Finance Industry Intelligence database (tracking projects individually, identifying developer, owner, location and often equipment supplier or financier) already records 9.5 GW of projects built in China in 2013.  More complete data will be provided later in March. China’s state-owned power generators China Power Investment Corporation, China Three Gorges and China Huadian Corporation have become the world’s largest owners of solar assets. Head of solar analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), Jenny Chase said,

“The 2013 figures show the astonishing scale of the Chinese market, now the sleeping dragon has awoken…PV is becoming ever cheaper and simpler to install, and China’s government has been as surprised as European governments by how quickly it can be deployed in response to incentives.”

BNEF estimates that in 2013 the global solar PV market had been 39 GW (or 39,000 MW), with an increase of 28% from 2012.  This trend is expected to continue, with a 20% global volume growth in 2014.  In 2014, the world will install as much solar PV in 12 months as the cumulative total installed solar since the invention of solar PV module to 2010. The world’s three largest solar PV markets in terms of new GW (or 1,000 MW) capacity in 2013 were: China, Japan, and the U.S., then Germany in fourth place. To this, I have to say that we all have much to thank Germany for having been the heaviest investor in solar for many years. China and Japan are both much better off keeping their eyes on the prize of solar energy, the ultimate solution to solve problems in Climate Change-Energy-Pollution-Prosperity-Security rather than fighting over the uninhabited Diaoyu-Senkaku. Finally, if only U.S. had come to realized and fully implemented the Feed-In-Tariff as China did, the Number 1 Country on planet Earth that has added the most solar power in a single year in 2013 would have been U.S. rather than China.  Being an Earthling foremost, I applaud China for having implemented Feed-In-Tariff with such fervor, even without having fully appreciated how much impact and speed it would have on the deployment of solar. Now, as Thailand and many parts of Southeast Asia and rest of the world are also becoming believers in Feed-In-Tariff,  I only wish that the state of Florida and many other states in U.S. will learn to appreciate this most effective incentive policy for solar and renewable energy. It is noteworthy that China, Japan, and Germany have all implemented Feed-In-Tariff at higher rate than what U.S. PURPA law required, avoided cost. If China would be able to maintain such an enthusiastic momentum for solar, there is the possibility  of China becoming the Cleanest Country On Planet Earth by 2050! Keep your eyes on the Sun!

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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