China Leads World in Solar Cell Production

AlthoughChina leads the world in solar cell production, the country exports 98%of its photovoltaic products to overseas markets. The country could befacing a >6% electrical supply shortage by next year. In itspreliminary report on China’s photovoltaics (PV) policy roadmap, theSEMI PV Group recommends that the country accelerate its adoption ofPV-generated electricity to reach the global average by 2014. AlthoughChina has been building a
massive PV industry representing allfacets of the supply chain — from polysilicon feedstock, ingots andwafers to cells and modules — almost all of the PV production has beenexported. At the same time, China faces a rapidly increasing demand forenergy.
China derives almost 70% ofits energy from coal and other fossil fuels, which play a central rolein the country’s economy. The use of fossil fuels generates massiveamounts of carbon dioxide, and the external costs of using coal willreach 13% of China’s GDP by 2020, according to the World Bank, whichcomes as a result of the steady increase in China’s energy demand. Onthe supply side, in 2010 by some estimates, after accounting for coal,hydro and nuclear power, there could be a 6.4% shortage in electricalsupply, which will need to be filled by renewable energy.



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