Its been a HUGE week for solar. Bidding details on the first solar farm concession were announced, while a new solar roofs program to popularize photovoltaics (PV) in rural and urban areas has been launched. The Green Leap Forward discusses the details both developments and their implications to China’s domestic solar market.
Over the past weekend, some important news has emerged from China’s first ever solar concession bidding project in the deserts of Dunhuang, Gansu province (pictured, right). Previously, we erroneously reported that there were 50 bidders for the 10 megawatt solar photovoltaic project (shame on you Xinhua News! It seems that 50 more likely refers to the number of bidding packages that were initially requested from the authorities by potential bidders, not the number of bids actually submitted). In fact, was officially announced that only 18 bids were submitted, and even then, five of those submitted (all from private companies, including three solar manufacturers) were disqualified for not meeting technical requirements. Of the remaining 13 bids, 12 are state-backed and active wind developers and only one is a private company based in Hong Kong. Still, 13 bids provides some healthy competition, as reflected in the surprisingly low range of tariff rates proposed by the bidders. According to a note by the Beijing office of New Energy Finance (NEF): Read the full story
A guest post by Heather Chi on the promise (and potential perils) of small-scale organic agriculture in China.
Given the urgent need to reform China’s agriculture and food production infrastructure in the context of rising concerns about the country’s ability to feed its growing population, the need to ensure food safety for locally grown and exported produce, as well as the need to reduce agriculture’s environmental footprint, promoting small-scale agriculture emerges as a viable option that China’s policymakers should seriously consider.
Firstly, small-scale agriculture has significant potential to lift China’s struggling rural farmers out of poverty. A recent study on fruit farmers in Shandong reveals that at least a number of small and poor farmers have been able to access traditional marketing channels despite the rise of larger industrial farms that are increasingly integrating these supply chains. This is largely on account of the observation that a majority of transactions between buyers and producers are conducted in cash and done on a spot-market basis, rather than by supply contracts. This suggests that increased financial and technological support for small, rural Chinese farmers could be a significant contributor towards boosting rural incomes and narrowing the income gap between traditional and industrial agriculture. Read the full story
We don’t usually announce every event but this one’s gonna be interesting…We (the Beijing Energy Network, of which GLF is a founder) are hosting Lynn Price and Zhou Nan of Lawrence Berekeley Lab’s China Energy Program at the Beijing Energy & Environment Roundtable (BEER) this Thursday, March 19 at Blue Frog Bar in Sanlitun Village (networking session at 8pm, Talk at 9pm). They will talk about US-China cooperation in energy efficiency. One of the more notable programs is the Top-1000 Energy-Consuming Enterprises program, which we previously blogged about. For more details of the event and to sign on to BEER’s mailing list, click here.
This edition of Green Hops is dedicated to Andrew Symon, a Singapore-based journalist specializing in energy and whom I have had the pleasure and honor of making an acquaintance of as a result of his writings at Asia Times Online. He passed away unexpectedly on February 24, 2009. Andrew’s generosity, sense of mission and powerful intellect will be sorely missed.
Energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of GDP) last year was reduced by a further 4.59%, bringing the three year total in energy efficiency gains in 2006 through 2008 to 10.08%. This means that to reach its 20% energy intensity reduction target over the five year period for 2006 through 2010, it will have to reduce almost another 10% in energy intensity over 2005 levels. Even if it seems difficult to achieve, such efforts much press on. To sobering reality is that China’s annual greenhouse gas emissions surged 45% from 2002 to 2005 alone due to a combination of structural changes in industrial activities and increased consumption. Half of that increase, apparently, was driven by manufactured exports. But the Chinese authorities say that exports in general are declining (25% year on year) and that the amount of “high-energy-consuming products” exported in 2008 declined 16.2% from the previous year. Read the full story
It’s been a while since we had a post dedicated to renewables, so let’s me divert you to two articles on solar. The first, the cover feature “Here Comes the Sun” of The Beijinger its green issue this March, speaks to the general state of China’s solar industry and concludes that despite the tough times (see previous post), a vast market and progressive national renewable energy policies make China the key to a solar future. Yours truly is quoted several times in this piece.
The Beijinger article provides a good background to the second article, “Getting Out of the Shade: Solar Energy as a National Security Strategy,” which I penned for China Security journal. In this piece, I lament the fact that China’s solar photovoltaics (PV) industry has been export oriented, but argue that there is no time better than now to develop its domestic solar market because of a combination of increased solar module and polysilicon supply and decreased overseas demand is driving costs down to record lows. I don’t want to Read the full story