China's strides in solar tech debated at Asia Solar Energy Forum (2)

14:10, June 08, 2011      

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Accelerate establishment of reasonable electricity prices

"Solar power systems have a high demand for land. Eastern China has limited land resources but a high demand for electricity. Although the land and solar energy resources are rich in western China, they are far from power load centers. Therefore, solar power can only be used or stored locally because the costs of long-distance transmission and distribution are too high. However, the costs of power-storage technologies are also very high," said Zhou Aiming, an energy expert from the Regional and Sustainable Development Bureau under the Asian Development Bank.

Li Heping, administrative deputy general manager of the China Huadian New Energy Technology Development Company, said that China's solar on-grid prices are still in the early stage of development. China is now promoting demonstration projects and accelerating the establishment of reasonable electricity prices. According to sources, developed countries such as Spain and the United States have adopted on-grid prices, which means that the government uniformly sets the electricity prices and the national grid must purchase all electricity that is produced by solar energy companies.

Thailand has also adopted an approach that is similar to providing subsidies regarding the rising solar power prices. It raised the on-grid prices of solar power and provided electricity subsidies to compensate investors with the difference between the expected profits each year and the actual electricity prices, which are calculated based on the payback period.

Chander believes in regards to exports, many solar power manufacturers in China are primarily targeting the European market. However, the European market has continued to shrink since the international financial crisis, while the solar power demand in Asia, especially Southeast Asia, is gradually rising. Therefore, China needs to turn its attention to stimulate domestic demand and meet the demand of Asia, especially Southeast Asia.

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By Ji Peijuan People's Daily correspondent in Thailand, translated by People's Daily Online

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