Solar Panels in China: Harnessing The Power of Sun

solar panels china

It is no wonder that the vast, sunbathed plains of north-western and northern China have become home to huge solar farms. This is mainly due to two reasons.

Firstly China has a lot of space to build them, and secondly, the energy received from the sun in these places is reasonably reliable. 

It is very fascinating to know that as per reports from IEA, International Energy Agency, the mainland of China has met its own estimates for 2020 for solar energy capacity three years before the deadline.

In a country that is battling to fight air pollution, installing rooftop solar panels plays an essential role in achieving zero greenhouse gas emission.

solar panels china
Source: Christian science monitor

In the last decade, the Solar industry in China has grown exponentially. In 2007, the solar capacity of China was just 100MW, but in 2017 the number was 53 000 MW.

Now that’s an enormous growth.

The graph below shows the cumulative rise of installed solar capacity from the years 2019 to 2019.

solar panels china

Renewable energy in China

For several years, the Chinese government has given prime importance to clean and renewable energy due to the ever-increasing demand for power in the country that is on a high track for growth and development.

solar panels china
Source:PV magazine USA

The country has released government guidance and policies in 2020, which indicate the government will be focusing on markets for wind and solar power.

The government gives top priority in investing in renewable solar energy because it enables them to tackle problems of water and air pollution effectively, and to mitigate the risk of socio-economic instability.

China’s solar capacity

At present China is leading in renewable energy production figures. The country is the world’s largest producer of solar and wind energy, and the largest domestic and outbound investor in renewable energy.

solar energy china

Source:getty images

China prides in owning five of the world’s six largest solar module manufacturing companies and is the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer.

Several studies by the National People’s Congress’ (NPC) Environmental Committee, Tsinghua University and the Asian Development Bank reported that 7 out of the ten most polluted cities in the world are in China.

The 13th five-year plan of the country which ends in 2020 had the aim to boost the non-fossil fuel’s share of total electricity production from 35 to 39 per cent.

It is estimated that by the year 2030, one-fifth of the energy capacity from the country will come from non-fossil fuel energy sources.

Which is the largest solar plant in China?

The largest solar power plant in China is the  Longyangxia Dam Solar Park. The plant is spread over more than 25 square kilometres and has over 4 million solar panels.

This magnificent solar farm is in the Qinghai province of China.

solar panels china

Source:smithsonian magazine

The enormous size of the farm with 850 megawatts capacity, made it the largest solar farm in the world in February 2017.

The Longyangxia Dam Solar Park is capable of producing a power output of 220-gigawatt hours of electricity per year, good enough to power 200,000 households.

Solar power manufacturers in China

For years the Chinese manufacturing industry is known all over the globe due to their high-quality products at low prices.

Manufacturers from all over the world choose one of their manufacturing locations in China, primarily due to this.

Thanks to the country’s innovative development in technology, solar power is now better and cheaper than ever. 

Let us take a more in-depth look at some of the top solar panel manufacturing companies in China.

1. China Sunergy

The company was founded in 2006 and has a primary customer base in China. Located in Nanjing, Jiangsu. China Sunergy specializes in manufacturing solar panels from silicon wafers.

This is the only Chinese solar panel manufacturer in Europe.

At present China, Sunergy has a production capacity of 1.2 GW and has an installed capacity of 1.4GW globally. Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells are used for this purpose. The company is rapidly expanding and opened their European manufacturing unit in Turkey in May 2013.

2. Trina Solar

Founded in 1997, the company has branches all over the world, including the US, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

Trina Solar delivers PV products, various applications and provides services to promote sustainable development across the globe. 

The prime mission of the company is to boost renewable energy development around the world for the betterment of humanity. Ranked as the “Top 500 private enterprises in China”, the company has delivered more than 50 GW solar modules globally until June 2020.

The company secured 17th spot on the “2018 Global Top 500 New Energy Enterprises in 2018, after delivering more than 40GW solar modules worldwide.

Along with this, their downstream business also includes solar PV project development, design, construction, financing, operations and management.

3. DelSolar Co.Ltd

The company not only manufactures and distributes solar modules but also actively engages in research and development of PV systems.

The company’s headquarters is in Hsinchu, Science-based Industrial Park, Phase II, Taiwan.

Delta Solar was established in 2004, as a joint venture of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Delta Electronics Inc. 

ITRI is a non-profit research institute based in Taiwan under the supervision of the Republic of China Ministry of Economic Affairs. 

At the same time, Delta Electronics is the world’s largest provider of switching power supplies and brushless fans.

4. JA Solar Holdings

The company manufactures high-performance photovoltaic products and has more than 12 manufacturing bases and 20 branches all over the world.

The company was established in 2005: JA solar holding manufactures solar cells, silicon wafers, photovoltaic power stations and solar modules.

JA solar holdings are listed on Global Top 500 New Energy Enterprises and Fortune China 500 for several years now. The company’s products are available in over 120 countries and are used extensively in houses, power plants and commercial rooftops.

The company is well known for adapting to rapidly changing technology and is praised by clients worldwide.

5. Suntech power

The company was founded in 2001, and has headquarters in Wuxi, Jiangsu. Apart from production, the company also specializes in production, development and research of crystalline silicon modules and cells.

Suntech Power have delivered more than 13,000,000 panels to thousands of companies located in 80 countries all over the globe.

The annual production capacity was boosted to 2,000 MW by the end of the year 2011.

6. Yingli Solar

With its headquarters located in Baoding, Hebei province, Yingli Solar has till date shipped more than 85 million solar panels to 90 countries across the globe, especially in Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and the USA.

The photovoltaic module capacity is 4GW. 

What percentage of solar panels are made in China?

The country of China has more solar capacity than any other nation in the world. The current solar capacity is estimated to be an enormous 130 GW.

The country is also credited with the title of the largest solar manufacturer in the world.

According to the studies done by the International Energy Agency (IEA), more than 60% of the solar panels in the world are manufactured in China.

Solar panels price in China

The average cost of the solar panel in China is  $2.92/W.The average price of installation ranges from  $12,410 to $16,790.

solar panels china

Source: China daily

Chinese companies are the world’s leaders in low priced solar. The massive influx of low priced solar panels has accelerated the installation of low priced panels around the globe.

This also has driven several US and European manufacturers out of business. The fantastic success of Chinese solar has raised an eyebrow of questions across the spectrum of politics, business and trade.

The table below shows the average price of solar panels in china by size.

solar panel price in china

Source: Energy sage

Solar subsidies in China

In the year 2020, China has boosted its budget for renewable power subsidy to 92.36 billion yuan. This is 7.3% more when compared to previous years.

The Ministry of Finance has officially announced on its website that the solar power incentive will rise by 14%. As per the official reports, solar projects will get 42.84 billion yuan, the remaining portion of the budget will be diverted for the installation of power grids and biomass power.

The country of China has subsidized renewable energy for years which enabled the rapid development of solar and other forms of clean power sources in a short while.

Most of China’s renewables are maintained and developed by state-owned firms. The gap between subsidies owned and paid has hurt the valuations of companies traded publicly outside mainland China.

At present, the government is trying to reduce the number of new projects that are eligible for subsidies.

Bottom Line

The steady decline in the price of solar technology is a clear indication that the trend in China is also being followed around the world. The IRENA  International Renewable Energy Agency has announced that very soon grid parity will become the worldwide norm for the solar industry.

China is working day and night to develop technologies that are not only cheaper but also super-efficient to combat the usage of fossil fuels for power production.

Hopefully, the hard work of the Chinese government coupled with the innovative development of Chinese solar companies will pave the way for a safer, cleaner and better tomorrow.

Let us look forward to a day where 80% of our power needs are from clean and renewable energy sources.

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