The China’s solar power mega project, which will be implemented in phases, is set to make a remarkable supplement in China total national energy production. The first phase, which will provide 50MW, will set the ball rolling, with the final project expected to provide 1000 MW of electricity by year 2020. The Chinese government reported that the whole project, which is located in Northern Inner Mongolia, is expected to cost something like $USD 2.5 billion.
Although information concerning the type of solar power harvesting is scanty, it could go without saying that the project will emulate the parabolic trough concentrated solar power model, which is synonymous with the current solar millennium projects. This project was estimated to increase the country’s percentage of renewable energy by 7% by 2010 (Li & Shi, 2006).
Although the project is expected to reduce the gap between energy demand and consumption in China, the addition is still inconsequential. With the Chinese economy continuing to grow hastily, the per capita energy consumption is likely to continue substantially. The resources that have been committed in this particular project might sound enormous, but they are incomparable with the Chinese energy demand that is expected to continue in the future.
With the projects’ key objective being to meet the national energy demand, the budget needs to be augmented to improve the output of the project. Only this way could energy production through solar panels make a substantial contribution towards national energy production, which can contribute towards development of the whole economy (Li & Shi, 2006).
The financing system for this kind of renewable energy in China is inadequate. Projects of this magnitude are financed through government funding, foreign government loans and donation and direct investment from foreign merchants. The domestic enterprises, on the other hand, have not well been integrated in these development chains. As a result, ensuring of sustainable power system in China becomes very difficult.
Furthermore, there is the danger of monopolization of renewable energy in China by foreign direct investors. That having been said, the Chinese energy security and sustainability shall be dying out if better and more promising sources of financing are not sought after (Mario, 2005).
Solar energy requires adequate investment to be channeled towards technical research and development for renewable energy. This is because solar energy requires a lot of funding of scientific methods, for the project to be successful. Despite China ranking as a top renewable energy investor, the resources that have been committed towards technical research and development remain insufficient. This is evident from the fact that the investment that was channeled towards research and development in China took a meager 0.045% of the total GDP (Mario, 2005), which was approximately 44 times less than that of EU member countries. As a result, China relies on importation of much advanced techniques and equipments, exposing the industry to a lot of uncertainty and passive situation.
Security issues in relation to solar panels are fundamental when pursuing a sustainable energy resource similar to this project. Therefore, issues such as work safety, fire safety and solar panel recycling are some of the key concerns. To ensure social sustainability, setting aside of adequate resources to ensure health and safety of the workers is essential. Solar panel recycling programs should be planned ahead. Access of the roof spaces in the event that a fire accident happens should also be well planned for, to mitigate damages.
Li, J, & Shi, G. (2006). Summery on Domestic and Foreign Renewable Energy Policy and Advice on Further Supporting China’s Renewable Energy Development. Renew Energy, 1, 1–6.
Mario, R. (2005). Apollonia M. Evidence from RD&D spending for renewable energy sources in the EU. Renew Energy, 30(11), 1635–47.