New research has indicated that compared to grid electricity in Chinese cities, solar energy is actually cheaper. This is expected to raise the uptake of solar power in the country.
Not the same cost though
While grid parity is what has been accomplished in China due to government support and advanced technologies, generation of grid electricity doesn’t cost the same as the generation of solar. For that to be accomplished, China requires at least a decade.
Cheaper in 344 Chinese cities
According to the researchers from Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology involved in the study that appeared in the Nature Energy journal, 344 cities in China have more affordable solar energy. 22 per cent of all cities in the study were also found to have solar mechanisms of generating low cost energy than even coal.
Renewables more appealing
Clean energy is highly desired globally and the technology involved is becoming cheaper. As the energy demands in China keep rising, solar energy and other renewable sources are becoming a highly appealing investment option.
According to energy experts, the study concludes that commercial and industrial solar are now affordable than what grid electricity has been for years. As a result, industries, homes and workshops globally could now take up solar with commercial gain being the impetus and distorted impacts and subsidies out of the picture.
100 per cent growth in 25 years
In just a quarter of a century, solar panels in China have grown from zero to 100 per cent surpassing any other nation in the world. China hosts some of the largest solar farms globally, such as the world vastest Tengger Desert scheme. Of all commissioned new infrastructure in China in 2017, half was related to renewable energy making the country the largest renewable energy sources investor.
Coal dominance eyesore
In China, coal has remained an eyesore that has refused to dip, catering for about 60 per cent of the entire energy market while solar only stands at 5 per cent. This is due to the long-term solar investment process requiring lots of installation and development costs many policymakers consider expensive and rather costly in the short term. With the cost of solar dipping and forecasted to keep plummeting, lots of companies and industries are expected to adopt a wait and see attitude until prices have gone down further.
More still needed
Scientists in the study also suggested changes in policy that would motivate more solar energy adoption. This comes after investment in clean renewable energy around the world went up in 2017, which was far more than what was invested in fossil fuels.
Globally, intensive efforts have seen investment in renewable energy, particularly solar and wind increase from a mere 5 per cent to a remarkable 12 per cent. Even with the notable progress, International Energy Agency indicate lots of investment in clean energy is still needed to ensure over 1.5C of global warming on average doesn’t happen as per the guidelines of the Paris Climate pact.