China Eclipses Europe As Its 2020 Solar Power Target Is Smashed Ahead Of Schedule

Submitted by: daegog 2 months ago in Science


An excerpt from Euractiv: China has reached its 2020 solar power target three years ahead of schedule, after installed capacity topped well over its 105GW target. Europe has been urged to show similar ambition.

New figures published by solar industry firm Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory (AECEA) last week revealed that China has exceeded its 2020 target of 105GW of installed solar capacity, after new builds in June and July pushed it up beyond 112GW.

Solar power is enjoying a sunny 2017 in China, after the first half of this year saw capacity increased by 24.4GW, dwarfing similar efforts in Europe, and cementing China’s status as the world’s leading solar nation.

There are 31 comments:
Male 4,255
Solar is very cool but there are some real problems with the manufacture/disposal/recycling of some of the components that would cause an eco-disaster of their own if massed produced enough to really make a difference that need to be addressed.
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Male 41,141
You do know that China also builds a brand new COAL power plant every week? Or is it 2 per week? That they are using more coal than anything else? 

This is a drop in the bucket and probably cost a fortune. Even though China is the nation that builds most of the solar panels eh? They still rely heavily on coal and are trying to build more hydro, but most of the choice spots are already taken (much like North America) and the cost of displacing millions is not inconsequential.

And remember: the 100GW capacity MUST have a fossile fuel back-up too: they added 100GW of COAL for that.
Reality.
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Male 4,311
that's likely to have some horrible effects on the local environment
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Male 3,854
China, France and the UK are moving forwards with plans to stop making gasoline using cars... The US?  LETS BUILD MORE SUVS!

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/mobility/2017/09/09/china-gasoline-car-ban/105462466/
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Male 1,495
daegog I read that several months ago in the Chicago Tribune.  What wasn't clear was how the cars would be powered - there was no mention of the alternative fuel source.  I would think that electric cars mentioned in your link would necessitate significant increases in generation beyond what renewable sources can provide, especially in Europe where there is just not enough land for the solar and wind farms.
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Male 3,668
Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't advanced, but rather to take a look at some serious ramifications about about completely shutting down the coal industry.
I live in an area where there are only about 4 industries thriving. Schools; coal (and their dependencies, rail and truck); chain fast food, and defense contracting. I also live in an economically depressed area. We only exist because of coal. We're also a poor area. What happens when the only means of income for a poor area? Everyone goes on welfare or moves away. If the people able to move away leave, that leaves nothing.

Basically, what I'm saying is, one shouldn't slam the only door some have without opening another.

So I ask anyone who does think we should completely stop mining their plan to replace the livelihoods of people reliant on the industry you plan to eliminate.
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Male 74
DuckBoy87 serious steps have to be taken to help these areas. If environmentalism doesn't kill coal's economic support of these regions, automation and efficiency  will. Over 400 mines/companies closed under Obama's tenure, yet total output was hardly affected. 
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Male 417
DuckBoy87 Yes, if you boost coal until the end, then suddenly shut it down because you have to, the end will be like Detroit.

Edit: Read "Brave New World".
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Male 1,787
DuckBoy87

I can jive with that. Much like I don't like the idea of "Repeal and replace" and I don't like the idea of "Sunset DACA without a plan in place." Put a plan for renewable energy in place first, and then retire less efficient or more damaging types of energy.

That being said, if your town knows that coal is going to go the way of the dinosaur eventually, shouldn't the residents start diversifying talent?
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Male 3,668
bliznik It's not just the town, it's the whole state (Pennsylvania). Not only that, destroying coal, you risk destroying the US's GDP. (PA is #6)

As far as town goes, not that simple. We have nothing but mountains and winter snowfalls that are fairly intense. Transportation is absolute shit. There is only one reliable route that trucks can easily take in or out of my area, and it doesn't lead to Philly or Pittsburgh (as in it's a north/south route)

Most renewable energies don't work in the area either. With 150 sunny days a year, there is a lot to be desired.


This area also has a "let the government handle it" mentality. We had a congressman just tell the area that for years, and yet did nothing. You'd think people would wise up and try to do something, but they still have that mentality.
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Male 1,787
This area also has a "let the government handle it" mentality.

Ugh, there are few things in this world that piss me off more than the, "Somebody else should make my life better" mentality. I mean, it may be the government's responsibility, and the government might be in the best place to enact change, but just waiting for some "almighty government" to come around and improve things just because time has passed isn't the best solution.
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Male 3,854
DuckBoy87 Economic Diversity is the only solution to these kinds of ills imo.  As a Detroit Native, having all your eggs in one basket (the auto industry) is literally waiting to die.  

At some point, someone else may be able to deliver coal cheaper than the company in your town and the coalmines there will still close.

If you town will not diversify its businesses, it will suffer the same fate as Detroit and every other city that is a one trick pony.

But please do not think for a second, people will buy coal from your town just to save jobs, if they can get it anywhere else cheaper, then that's what they will do.
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Male 10,101
This is what happens when millions of entitled, jingoistic, morons, constantly tell everyone they are the greatest country on earth without doing anything to make it true.
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Male 40,250
Please explain to me again why we can't do solar or wind power in the USA. 

The 3rd world is doing a lot of things we can't manage in the "Leader of the Free World".

You know what they call a leader with no followers?
Just a man taking a walk....
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Male 41,141
Gerry1of1 Because it costs a fortune. Because in a totalitarian system the Government can do whatever it wants. The people have the right to shut up and pay for it. Like in Canada :-/

Solar and wind are still 4X as costly as other forms, and each MW of power MUST have a fossil fuel backup unless you want 'brown outs' or rolling blackouts. Or, like Germany, you can import COAL power from your neighbors. Thus pretending to have a 'green system' while financing their coal plants with much lower (dirty) controls than Germany has...

 Ontario shut down its coal and nuclear power... and built tons of wind and solar. The electric bills for citizens went up 400% and will double again within 2-3 years... What cost a family $100 a month now costs $400 and soon will cost $800... all in the name of Green Power. Everything else costs more too since businesses also face those increases.

And Ontario Power recently bought the biggest Coal Power Plant in the USA for a few billion dollars. The height of hypocrisy... they say how it will help lower the bills it makes so much money :/ riiiight. Did I mention it's coal fired? Shouldn't they shut it down and replace it with wind?? (lolz!)
http://www.torontosun.com/2017/07/29/wynne-liberals-must-top-hydro-ones-us-coal-plant-purchase-report
(it has a typo in the headline, lolz!)
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Male 967
5cats Except that power didn't go up 400% and will not double  within 2-3 years.  Electricity prices will be held at rate of inflation for next 3 years after the last budget reduced electrical rates. 

I should know - I live here.  The power backbone to the wind and solar is our hydroelectric and nuclear.  There is still natural gas which is better (by far) than coal.

Ontario's nuclear power is still running and Darlington is getting refurbished.

Please don't spread downright falsehoods.
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Male 4,311
Gerry1of1 we do both of those things in the United States and they both suck ass. They're surprisingly worse for the environment than you would think. And there is the mass murder of birds
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Male 417
dm2754 If you want to safe birds, the first thing to stop is cars. Second: Glass windows. Third Power lines. Fourth: Insecticides. I agree that the amount of birds being killed needs to be reduced everywhere, but it's being done only at windmills.
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Male 40,250
dm2754 When in WWII rubber was cut off, we invented artificial rubber. If we switch to ethanol now we WILL create new corn plants to make it from . NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION.

But oil is easier.... dirtier, nastier, more polluting ..... but oil is easier
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Male 3,642
Gerry1of1 

"Please explain to me again why we can't do solar or wind power in the USA."

Because...

...ANTI-SCIENCE!

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Male 40,250
kalron27 I can't think of a reason we can't. But whenever they try it's "unfeasible" "Inefficient" etc

Mind you, Brasil - a 3rd world country - switch over to Ethanol but the USA says it can't be done
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Male 1,495
Gerry1of1 to answer a couple of questions the solar/wind power problem is the large footprint vs relatively small output.  Plus it's not reliable for unifom output.  The sun doesn't shine at night and the winds cycle over the course of the day.  We need power generation to be uniform and reliable and right now solar and wind are not there.  Electric cars can use currently untapped nuke and coal generation for charging that goes to waste at night.  Relying on solar and wind in this case comes up short (nukes would be ideal except for that little problem of radiation leakage during earthquakes and tsunamis etc)

Secondly, electric cars do represent a risk to the environment to produce and recycle, not insurmountable but they require and produce nasty stuff and that needs to be dealt with. At this point setting fire to dead dinosaurs is a cheap way get around and until the cost gap is closed there won't be the incentive to make the move.
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Male 10,101
They are using cutting edge technology to harness the energy from the sun and we are digging up rocks and sludge of decaying matter to set on fire. Perfect.
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Male 3,642
holygod 

Chinese are dealing with an '80's level smog epidemic that LA dealt with 30+ years ago.  

The difference is that religion does not influence Chinese government, so Climate Change is real to them...
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Male 660
kalron27 Religion?  Maybe not.  Dogmatism?  That's a different story.  Maybe I am wrong and they have made some vast improvements in quality control, but the same type of mindset that led to the Great Leap Forward was still alive and well the last time I was there.  (Which granted, has been a few years, now.)
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Male 3,642
faustsshadow Dogma is a much better word to describe what I was trying to go for...thank you...
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5
holygod we have our rights! you seem to forget that!

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Male 10,101
stephen_clark_porter You haven't made enough posts to tell wether your avatar / comments / syntax are sarcastic or not. I'll just give you the benefit of the doubt.
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Male 3,854
stephen_clark_porter The right to use coal... oh boy.
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Male 3,642
daegog but but it's my right as a coal mine owner to inflict coal miner's lung (black lung) on my employees...
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