China’s got a few major problems… It has a ridiculous amount of pollution. It has a fast-growing economy that is already the #1 contributor to CO2 emission in the world. And, in the solar industry realm, several solar module and solar cell manufacturers have a huge oversupply of products and have been losing money due to this oversupply and the super low price of these products around the globe.
In an attempt to help address all of these issues, China’s cabinet reportedly approved new measures on Friday that will address the first two issues directly and then third one indirectly. Reuters reports:
In particular, the State Council promised to:
– Accelerate the installation of pollution control equipment on small, coal-fuelled refineries.
– Curb the growth of high-energy-consuming industries like steel, cement, aluminum, and glass.
– Reduce emissions per unit of GDP in key industries by at least 30 percent by the end of 2017.
– Improve indicators used to evaluate the environmental impact of new projects and deny administrative approvals, financing, land, and other support to projects that fail to meet high standards.
– Strengthen enforcement and collection of fees and penalties that companies pay based on their emissions.
– Use legal action to force industries to upgrade pollution controls and establish or revise industry-level emissions standards.
Furthermore, getting back to the solar power issue directly, it adds, “Friday’s State Council statement also acknowledged difficulties afflicting China’s solar industry but pledged to maintain support for the industry through ‘reformed methods’.”
Specific support options could include: financial incentives for producing solar power and selling it to the electric grid; requirements that grid operators buy any electricity produced from solar power plants; and/or requirements that a certain portion of electricity is produced from solar power. We’ll have to wait to see exactly what China rolls out.