Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Solar Country Notes
It is estimated that two-thirds of the country receives solar radiation energy in excess of 4.6 kWh/m2/day, with the western provinces particularly well endowed. China's annual solar power potential has been estimated to be 1 680 billion toe or 19 536 000 TWh. Capturing 1% of this resource, and utilising it with 15% efficiency, could supply as much electricity as the whole world presently consumes in eighteen months.
In 2004 the World Bank approved a loan and Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant to China for its Renewable Energy Development Project (REDP), in which photovoltaics feature prominently. Assistance will be provided to PV companies to market, sell and maintain 300-400 thousand systems in remote parts of the north-western provinces. The project will eventually involve the installation of around 10 MWp of PV, either on a stand-alone basis or as hybrid systems in conjunction with wind power.
China's 11th 5-Year Plan (2006-2010), approved by the Government in October 2004, stresses the need for energy conservation and diversification. In the first phase of the Village Programme, some 250 MWp of PV systems are planned for installation, bringing power to 2 million households that have been out of reach of mains electricity. Additionally, the 11th Plan will support around 50 MWp of roof-top and BIPV systems, as well as a 20 MWp demonstration plant in the Gobi desert.
In October 2005, a '100 000 solar roofs' project was approved by the Shanghai municipal government; it is planned for 70 MWp of PV capacity to be in place by 2010, with an eventual total of 360 MWp, providing an annual output of 432 GWh.
In November 2006, a new law in the city of Shenzhen came into effect, promoting the use of solar energy to heat water and generate electricity. The Shenzhen Construction Bureau anticipates that half of the city's new buildings will have solar water heating and one in five will have a PV power system.
Plans have been announced to utilise PV systems on a large scale for the summer Olympic Games in 2008, exemplifying the concept of the 'Green Olympics'. It is proposed to install PV panels on the outer walls of the Olympic Stadium and gymnasia and for the majority of the street lights in the Olympic Village to be solar-powered.