China Boosts Solar Thermal Energy Sector

China plans to obtain 11.4% of the overall energy from alternative sources by 2015

By Oana Grigoras on December 14th, 2011 08:00 GMT

Since the current challenges noticeable on the global photovoltaic market make this technology less popular and profitable, China is looking forward to exploit the unlimited potential of solar thermal energy, appearing to be the next best thing involving renewables.

The plan doesn't look good just on paper, since the mega power has already started experiencing the benefits offered by this green technology. It has focused on improving the lives of people living in rural areas, by commercializing water heating systems, Digitimes informs.

Moreover, new green solutions of this kind started revolutionizing the public sector. China made sure all a large segments of its residents working in schools, hospitals and hotels would have access to solar thermal energy heating systems installed in such facilities.

Under these circumstances, the solar thermal sector is expected to expand rapidly, according to China media outlet Newenergy. At the same time, its close relative, the solar PV market is not doing every good, because of international pressure felt by the global industry.

America has already accused China of engaging efforts in a unlawful competition, since its photovoltaic panels are much cheaper and quite tempting for potential clients in the US, influencing in a negative manner the profit margins obtained by American manufacturers.

Therefore, oversupply is one of the greatest issues experienced by China in this line of business.

Moreover, a recent report indicates that this technology is substantially less cost-effective than conventional ways of producing electricity and requires governmental incentives.
All in all, solar thermal installation offer China a green boost, helping it accomplish an important goal.

The nation plans to obtain 11.4% of the overall energy from non-fossil fuel sources within four years. In order to meet this deadline, China will have to preserve the current path and expand its solar thermal technology, taking into consideration that solar PV industry might become a less viable option in the near future.
The solar furnace at Odeillo in the French Pyrenees-Orientales reaching temperatures of up to 3,800 degrees Celsius (6872°F)
   The solar furnace at Odeillo in the French Pyrenees-Orientales reaching temperatures of up to 3,800 degrees Celsius (6872°F)
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