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China looking to increase solar power goals by order of magnitude

Post Time:May 09,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:289

DigiTimes is reporting that the Chinese government plans to raise its 2020 goals for photovoltaic (PV) use from the current 1.8 Gigawatt-peak (GWp) target, up to 10 GWp and possibly even 20 GWp, increasing by up to 10x or more.

The assistant director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Wang Zhongying, reportedly gave details of the revised plan at an international PV conference in Shanghai yesterday.

The increased goal is due to much faster-than-expected ramps in China’s solar cell production capabilities, coupled to international raw materials which have decreased significantly in 2H’2008.

A Gigawatt-peak is the quantity of solar cells installed to produce one Gigawatt of power when the sun is shining at its noon-day brightest. Over the course of the day, solar cell installations typically produce an average of half their peak potential due to cloud cover and the sun’s angle. In addition, some energy is lost when the solar panel’s voltage is stepped up and rectified to transmit at 120 VAC over main power lines. However, with modern day inverter-like technology, there should be about an 80% efficiency.

Solar power is desirable as a power source because it is very near 100% maintenance free once installed (in a fixed position), and provides power without failing parts, worn out bearings (as happen in wind generators), as it is basically comprised of a glass-like material atop a stationary substrate. Because of this, the overall cost of solar energy production over the long-term is much less than other forms of renewable energy which require near constant maintenance in one form or another.

Over the course of time, were our people and industries to embrace the idea of investing in wide-scale solar panel installations, technology improvements would be introduced which greatly increased the production capacity. The ratio used in the chart below is assuming today’s solar panel efficiencies, which typically run 30% to 40% max. It has already been predicted that by 2020, the same manufacturing facilities will be able to create 60% or greater efficient solar panels, meaning their annual GWp production will be 50% to 100% higher than they would be in 2009, for example.

Taiwan recently announced an investment to create a 400 Megawatt-peak facility (0.4 GWp).

Source: Geek.comAuthor: shangyi

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