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The U.S. is Losing its Lead to China (Again) … Particularly in Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Solar

Many scientists and renewable energy proponents are expressing concerns that the U.S. is losing its lead to China in renewable energy efforts worldwide, and one of the arenas in which that country is demonstrating a particularly aggressive push is in photovoltaic (PV) solar power.

China is responsible for more than 40 percent of renewable capacity growth around the world, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). That country’s brisk and impressive march into renewable energy, largely driven by concerns about air pollution, has resulted in China already surpassing the PV solar power it set for 2020 less than a decade ago. It is worth noting that the IEA expects China to surpass its wind power target by next year, and it is already the world market leader in hydropower, bioenergy for electricity and heat, and electric vehicles.

China has placed special emphasis on PV solar, the process of generating electric power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into a flow of electrons. Solar cells produce direct current electricity from the sun, and that can be used to power equipment or to recharge batteries.

Last year, new solar PV capacity around the world grew by 50 percent, reaching more than 74 GW, and China accounted for almost half of that growth, according to IEA figures. For the first time, solar PV additions rose faster than any other fuel.

If uncertainties and barriers are addressed, solar PV growth around the world could accelerate even more, many experts predict.

“What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar PV,” said Dr. Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, in an article published on the IEA website. “We expect that solar PV capacity growth will be higher than any other renewable technology through 2022.”

In the United States—which continues to be the second-largest growth market for renewables—state policies requiring distribution of solar PV is keeping interest in this technology quite strong, the IEA said.

We at American Diversified Energy can’t predict at this point what impacts proposed reforms, energy policies, and international trade issues might have on solar PV.

But the U.S. Department of Agriculture has funded solar projects through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and small rural businesses to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements, and use renewable technologies that reduce energy consumption.

Renewable energy projects for the Department of Agriculture’s guaranteed loan and grant programs include wind, solar, biomass and geothermal projects.

American Diversified Energy (ADE) Consulting Services has highly qualified experts with years of experience who can help with project development, feasibility study, government relations, and submissions for government grants. Feel free contact us or call 202-750-0007 for more information.


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