Market research firm IHS Technology has reported that almost 5 GW of distributed PV solar could be constructed in China this year. Their prediction for ground-mounted PV solar systems installations is about 8 GW. So, the total for 2014 for China could be close to 13 GW.
A shift away from utility-scale to distributed PV has been noted by IHS as well. Small string inverter shipments have experienced a significant rise. More than 500 MW of string inverter shipments were documented by Huawei in the first half of this year.
In 2013, China installed 12.9 GW of PV, which was a global record. It appears they will be on pace to install about the same amount or a little more this year as well. Europe installed about 11 Gw for that year. The US installed about 4.7 GW of PV in 2013.
China’s killer air pollution is a great incentive to invest heavily in clean, renewable energy. One estimate indicated that several hundred thousand Chinese people die prematurely from air pollution every year.
Another source said the huge nation has one of the highest pollution death rates, “Low- and middle-income countries in the Western Pacific region, including China, had the highest number of deaths per capita, at 172 per 100,000 people, from indoor and outdoor air pollution combined.”
Air pollution from coal might be also be damaging the brain health of children, ‘A March 19 study by Columbia University and Chongqing Medical University, meanwhile, found that babies whose mothers were exposed to a Chinese coal-fired power plant had poorer learning and memory skills.”
Premier Li Keqiang reportedly has said China will declare war on air pollution. Investing in solar power may be a very good way to do this. However, at the same time China is investing in solar, new coal power plants are also being constructed.
Some Chinese air pollution even crosses international borders.