Archive for 6.3 Solar Energy

Alternatives to Fuel-based Lighting in Rural China-LED Lamps in Tibet

Despite high rates of electrification in China, 25 to 30 million people remain without access to electricity. This population, as well as those with only intermittent access, must rely on alternate sources of power for their lighting needs. This paper presents a comparison of available off-grid and grid-based lighting options in terms of performance and economics, which is then contextualized using a case study of semi-nomadic populations in rural Tibet. Fuel-based lighting is shown to be significantly more costly than solar-powered compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and solar-powered light-emitting diode (LED) alternatives per unit of lighting services delivered. We calculate that a hurricane-style kerosene lamp costs approximately $0.40 per thousand lumen hours (klmh) or $2.89 per thousand lux hours (klxh), while a solar-CFL lantern costs $0.17/klmh and $1.20/klxh and a solar-LED device costs $0.15/klmh and $0.03/klxh. Furthermore, as LED efficiencies continue to improve, solar-LED products will become even more economical. Three focus groups and 15 household interviews were held among off-grid populations in rural Tibet to gauge response to LED technologies. LEDs were universally ranked below CFL alternatives, primarily due to the directional nature of the LED devices exhibited, but were still ranked above all non-electric sources of light. Diffusing optics may thus need to be incorporated into solar-LED lighting systems before they are rated as more attractive for general illumination than solar-CFL systems. Accordingly, those surveyed placed a high value on the use of LED bulbs for flashlight applications. Finally, we note that despite the potential benefits of LEDs, market forces are not likely to spur innovation in solar-LED lighting options for the unelectrified populations of Tibet, as the design of these systems is dominated by the governmental bodies subsidizing their distribution. Unless this structure changes, the future development of LED-lighting technologies will depend on top-down investment from the central and local governments.

6.3 Solar Energy, 6.3.3 Rural, Township and City Solar Development Programs and Specific Case Studies

China hikes 2011 solar power target

6.3.4 Recent Media Articles on Solar Energy

China Solar PV Report 2007

China’s installed capacity of solar PV will reach 10GWp, generating 130 TWh electricity annually, which is equal to electricity generation of 26 large-scaled coal power stations.

6 Renewable Energy, 6.3 Solar Energy, 6.3.1 Solar PV Status Reports and Recommendations

China starts building biomass-solar power plant in Singapore

6.3.4 Recent Media Articles on Solar Energy

China to lead world in large-scale use of solar energy

6.3.4 Recent Media Articles on Solar Energy

China trains international technicians of solar energy

6.3.4 Recent Media Articles on Solar Energy

China: Solar Lamps – The Eyes of Herdsmen at Night

Since the western regions have good conditions of sunshine and rich solar energy resources, using solar photovoltaic (PV) energy to solve the problem of electricity supply for the local residents’ life has become a major technical choice. The solar PV systems in the western regions are mainly used to solve the problem of lighting. Restricted by the level of income, the users of most PV systems can only use DC power systems without inverters, so the use of DC lamps is very popular. At present, there are totally more than 100 DC lamp manufacturers in China. The production capacities of these manufacturers are all low and the quality of their products is also uneven. The reasons of poor product quality are as follows: some large enterprises with actual strength have not set foot in this market, holding the size of this market is too small; some small enterprises use components with inferior quality and low prices to cater for consumers’ preference for inexpensive products for their low purchasing power. These reasons have led to poor product quality, short service life and high cost in service life. The World Bank/Global Environment Facility China Renewable Energy Development Project that is underway at present has selectively inspected the products of some DC lamp manufacturers to keep abreast of the current situation of DC lamp manufacturing in China, provide a scientific basis for scientific support and other activities at the next step, and finally reach the purpose of increasing product quality, reducing production cost and serving the users through the measurement of samples and the analysis and summary of the result of inspection. When conducting market survey for the World Bank-supported China Renewable Energy Development Project in the western regions in 1998, the authors once asked the herdsmen that already had solar PV systems at that time: “If somebody wants to buy your existing solar PV system, how much do you want the buyer pay?” Almost all the interviewed herdsmen answered: “We’d never sell them at any price, because they are we herdsmen’s eyes at night.” As of the end of 2002, electricity supply was still unavailable for about 30 million persons of 7,053,790 households in 21,560 villages. Most of the persons that can get no electricity live in the outlying areas of the northwestern regions that are characterized by a broad territory but a scarce population that accounts for only 28% of China’s total population. Supplying electricity through the extension of powder grids is not reasonable in economy due to many mountains, dangerous landforms and very difficult construction. However, the good conditions of sunshine and the rich solar energy resources in the western regions have made the utilization of solar PV energy a major technical choice for solving the problem of domestic electricity supply for the local residents.

6 Renewable Energy, 6.3 Solar Energy, 6.3.3 Rural, Township and City Solar Development Programs and Specific Case Studies

Chinese PV company supplies U.S. project

6.3.4 Recent Media Articles on Solar Energy

City Supports for Solar Photovoltaic Energy: International Experience of Developing Solar Cities and its Implication for China

This presentation, prepared by Arthur O’Donnell,Alex Pennock and Ryan Wiser of the Center for Resource Solutions, briefly introduces the international practice and experience of developing solar in cities. The presentation firstly describes the role of cities in supporting solar and summarizes US Solar America Cities Program and Model U.S. Cities and Projects; then introduces solar cities in other countries such as Australia, India, Japan and etc; at the end, this presentation draws conclusions and summarizes its implications for China to build its own solar cities.

6.3 Solar Energy, 6.3.3 Rural, Township and City Solar Development Programs and Specific Case Studies

Commercialization of Solar PV Systems in China

In 1995, the State Science and Technology Commission (SSTC) of the People’s Republic of China and the United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) jointly signed a cooperation framework on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Since that time, a series of cooperative documents have been signed, and many cooperative projects have been carried out. In 1996, the State Economic and Trade Commission (SETC) of China and the U.S. DOE signed an annex promoting the commercial development of renewable energy enterprises in China and the United States. In light of this agreement, the Renewable Energy Development Center of the Energy Research Institute, under the SSTC, and the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), conducted a joint project aimed at increasing mutual understanding between renewable energy companies in China and the United States. Other goals of the project include increasing opportunities for business collaboration and widening financing channels through the activities of information exchange, personnel training, and the creation of market opportunities. In this project, experts on both sides conducted a joint systematic investigation of the status of photovoltaic (PV) technology in China, including PV generation technologies, PV systems, and PV manufacturers and sellers. In spite of the rather large market potential, the PV industry in China is a latecomer, and the technical level is rather backward. The PV products are poor in quality and high in price compared with those in developed countries. This greatly restrains the development of PV manufacturers and their market penetration. Most Chinese PV manufacturing enterprises are faced with the problem of updating and reforming their technologies to adapt them to market development and competition. The purpose of this report is to (1) examine the current status of China’s PV industry; (2) understand the interests and market trends for U.S. PV enterprises; and (3) communicate this, along with the Chinese government’s plans and policies for PV development, to promote cooperation between Chinese and U.S. enterprises, thereby advancing the PV industry and its market development in China.

6 Renewable Energy, 6.3 Solar Energy, 6.3.1 Solar PV Status Reports and Recommendations