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China Power Earth Technology

China Is Now the World's Largest Solar Power Producer (digitaltrends.com) 131

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Digital Trends: Not only is it the world's most populous country, it's now also the world's biggest producer of solar energy. On Saturday, the National Energy Administration (NEA) noted that the nation officially claimed the title after doubling its installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity last year. By the end of 2016, China's capacity hit 77.42 gigawatts, and while this is great in terms of raw numbers, it's a lot less impressive relative to the country's massive population. As it stands, solar energy represents only one percent of the country's energy output. But this may soon change as China devotes more and more of its attention towards clean energy. The NEA says that China will seek to add more than 110 gigawatts within the next three years, which could help the nation up the proportion of its renewable energy use to 20 percent by 2030. Today, it stands at 11 percent.
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China Is Now the World's Largest Solar Power Producer

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  • China produces a quarter of the world's carbon pollution. their solar use doesn't really matter yet.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Face it, China is taking charge. Ain't nobody gonna catch them, the EU and US are falling apart.

    • by shanen ( 462549 ) on Monday February 06, 2017 @08:16PM (#53815745) Homepage Journal

      Those shallow little potshots... Why bother? You need to confirm your prejudices and hatreds? You think it makes your beliefs stronger because you get to read them again?

      "Reality? Bah! What a concept!"

      At least that seems to be the new motto of #PresdientTweety's administration, and if so, it goes far towards explaining why they [mostly Bannon and his cronies] seem to be imitating so many of China's authoritarian government techniques and even policies.

      Of course the reality is rather more complicated. Perhaps the deepest underlying reality is that petrochemicals are limited, and the Chinese government is only being realistic in moving away from oil and they can't help being authoritarian in how they are doing it. When your only hammer is "authoritarianism", then everything looks like a nail, eh? The coal reserves are much larger, but still limited and the externalities are much larger, again making it realistic to move away from coal and once again the Chinese government can't help but do things in an authoritarian way. Yes, climate change is a real concern, but I think the Chinese government doesn't really care that much. They just want results and if "climate change" helps ratchet up the pressure for the results they want, then that's okay.

      Even if they are successful, to my mind that does not justify remaking America in China's authoritarian image. However, from the Chinese perspective things look quite different. Only when there is a strong authoritarian government (with the "mandate of heaven") does anything get done, and the alternatives are chaos and anarchy and even civil war. You know how it is, but even China has a few bad centuries now and then. From their long-term perspective, the normal situation is a strong dictatorship (normally emperors, but now communists) and under that "normal" dictatorship China is "normally" the most civilized and most advanced and most peaceful civilization in the world.

      Or else. Troublemakers will be disposed of. Drop that mandate on 'em. Hard.

      In this particular case, they are actually right to be pushing for renewable energy as fast as they can.

      And if they were wrong? Well, that's the problem with dictators. "Wrong" is not in their dictionary. At least not as regards themselves.

      P.S. I'm still expecting the Chinese to invade North Korea and Taiwan this spring. Opportunity beckons, this offer expires soon, and so they are going to make the Donald an offer he can't refuse... The Art of War versus The Art of the Deal .

      • I'm still expecting the Chinese to invade North Korea and Taiwan this spring. ...

        Right, I remember you saying so in a recent post. "I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter."

        Joking aside... That would certainly qualify as killing two birds with one stone. Anything specific that you can point me to that backs this up? Or is this more a gut-instinct sort of thing on your part? I'm genuinely interested. Cheers.

        • So you want to pursue the postscript? Okay, I don't mind (but there is no newsletter). I find it an amusing topic, but more so for face to face discussions... Managed to get a Singaporean perspective yesterday. (We even made a small wager on it.) (I've also discussed it with a number of mainland Chinese, but so far no one from Taiwan.)

          Concrete evidence? Not really anything specific, though I've read a number of books about North Korea. Hard to find much available in English and it's not the kind of stuff I

          • I don't think China's economy can afford to lose the U.S. market just yet. Give them another decade or two

            • by shanen ( 462549 )

              Basically just an ACK, but it I doubt that the Chinese dictators have a decade to wait for economic self-sufficiency, and that is part of why they may be feeling forced to seize the current opportunity. They may know that their economy is about to crash in any case, and they NEED a scapegoat like #PresidentTweety. I certainly hope a bigger international fool doesn't come along later...

              Minor supporting evidence in the recent assassination of Kim Jong-un's older brother. From the insane North Korean perspecti

      • Calling China a dictatorship is stretching the modern definition a bit. Perhaps you mean something like the original Roman imperial "dictators"? The present leaders of China have term limits, unless the guy currently in charge decides to mount a civilian coup and appoint him Great Leader for life. China is properly an oligarchy, with a largely rubber stamp parliament, and a collective leadership at the top consisting of maybe a dozen or so standing committee members that must approve major decisions. That's
      • by dj245 ( 732906 )

        P.S. I'm still expecting the Chinese to invade North Korea and Taiwan this spring. Opportunity beckons, this offer expires soon, and so they are going to make the Donald an offer he can't refuse... The Art of War versus The Art of the Deal .

        This wouldn't make much sense. North Korea certainly causes China no end of headaches, but if China invaded them, it would ratchet up tensions in the DMZ even higher, they would gain a major humanitarian problem, and not much else. North Korea makes a great buffer zone between China and western-style democracy. It is in everyone's best interest that the current borders remain as-is.

        The only issue is whether North Korea should be recognized as a nuclear power or not, and the related question of whethe

        • North Korea certainly causes China no end of headaches, but if China invaded them, it would ratchet up tensions in the DMZ even higher,

          I'm not sure that's a given. If anything, it might be considered a relief from the North's chronic sabre-rattling capriciousness.

          they would gain a major humanitarian problem, and not much else.

          *That* is very likely the single greatest reason Beijing continues to prop up Pyongyang. The Chinese government values stability over just about all else, and millions of starving refugees trying to swarm across the Yalu following a collapse of the DPRK could put a big crimp in that.

          North Korea makes a great buffer zone between China and western-style democracy. It is in everyone's best interest that the current borders remain as-is.

          I think you're trying to put an ideological spin on this that the Chinese very likely aren't.

          The only issue is whether North Korea should be recognized as a nuclear power or not, and the related question of whether sanctions should continue. If they are recognized as a nuclear power (which they arguably are), sanctions to prevent that from occurring don't make sense on that argument. However, there is the greater goal of keeping the country in squalor so that neither China nor the West wants to take it over.

          That'

          • by shanen ( 462549 )

            Interesting discussion. Clarification: I think China would NOT stay in North Korea, but only conquer it long enough to remove the nuclear stuff and the main troublemakers. This discussion caused me to speculate if they might build a wall on the border as they leave. I'd like to say more, but...

            Right now I am in the process of putting my Slashdot affairs in order for another hiatus, perhaps permanent, so this is basically a boilerplate response drafted for the pending replies.

      • There is nothing shallow about understanding the relative magnitude of numbers.

        Oh, and half my family is Chinese but they left that shithole for better places including the USA. Best thing that ever happened they'll tell you.

        • by shanen ( 462549 )

          Can't even figure out if I agree with you. I'd ask you to clarify what you mean, but right now I am in the process of putting my Slashdot affairs in order for another hiatus, perhaps permanent, so this is basically a boilerplate response drafted for the pending replies.

  • From the summary

    As it stands, solar energy represents only one percent of the country's energy output

    and

    Today, it stands at 11 percent

    Am I missing something here? How is it that it Is it simply Solar in the first one, and all renewable energy in the second? Still seems strange

    • Re:Am I lost??? (Score:5, Informative)

      by shanen ( 462549 ) on Monday February 06, 2017 @08:20PM (#53815765) Homepage Journal

      Yes, you are missing something. Solar energy is NOT the only form of renewable energy.

      Old version is hydroelectricity.

      New versions include solar, but wind power is probably larger. I'd need to check the stats. (Then again, wind power is also an old technology. It's just the electric part that is newish.)

      If you really have mod points and use them so aggressively, then it explains quite a bit about the state of moderation on Slashdot. Can't recall the last time I had a mod point to bestow.

      • Well, wind is solar power in disguise.
        • So is hydro.

          • by shanen ( 462549 )

            And so are coal and petroleum.

            (I'm reading your "hydro" as "hydroelectric" rather than "hydrocarbons".)

            (And I still think the moderation system is badly broken to the point of meaninglessness. My comment certainly wasn't intended as "funny", but I might be missing the joke again.)

            • My comment certainly wasn't intended as "funny", but I might be missing the joke again.

              Don't beat yourself up, there's a lot of it about. Yuuuge amounts - believe me, folks.

              • by shanen ( 462549 )

                Think I mostly agree with you, though there might be some nits that could be picked. However, right now I am in the process of putting my Slashdot affairs in order for another hiatus, perhaps permanent, so this is basically a boilerplate response drafted for the pending replies.

        • by Zarquon ( 1778 )

          So is nuclear fission... just on vastly different time scales.

          -Bob

      • by jabuzz ( 182671 )

        Nope using wind for electricity is decidedly old hat. The RRS Discovery as captained by Scott had a wind turbine to generate electricity for lighting as far back as 1901. The turbine can be clearly seen on the bow of the ship.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        • by shanen ( 462549 )

          I feel like I have to clarify that your example (though interesting) seems to fit within my definition of "newish". For "oldish" I was thinking of windmills used for grinding grain and pumping water. However, on second thought you are probably right unless I try to retroactively restrict it to reasonably large-scale production of electricity. Doesn't seem fair even if I was thinking along those lines at the time...

          Anyway, I am pretty certain that we had hydroelectric power plants not long after generators w

          • by Sique ( 173459 )
            But even generators are late to the game. Charles Wheatstone and Werner Siemens presented the dynamoelectrical principle in 1867, and only then electric generators were ready for generating electric power in an industrial setting.
            • by shanen ( 462549 )

              Think I mostly agree with you, though there are always some nits that could be picked. However, right now I am in the process of putting my Slashdot affairs in order for another hiatus, perhaps permanent, so this is basically a boilerplate response drafted for the pending replies.

    • Am I missing something here?

      Well, you see, that is how fast things are moving - in the time it took you to get from the sentence with the 1% to the one with 11%, things have expanded a lot.

  • by John Allsup ( 987 ) <(moostyle.martia ... (at) (allsup.co)> on Monday February 06, 2017 @08:15PM (#53815741) Homepage Journal

    Trump, by by cozying up to Big Coal and Big Oil, has thrown China a glaring opportunity to get well ahead in the race to a post-fossil-fuel-future.

    • And that's not the only race. I've already posted the link twice, but if you're interested, go check out the recent analysis by Carrie Grace on the BBC News site, it's not hard to find.

    • Trump, by by cozying up to Big Coal and Big Oil, has thrown China a glaring opportunity to get well ahead in the race to a post-fossil-fuel-future.

      That's what happens when you elect "conservatives" who never want things to change. Conservative by definition means "holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion". Those aren't generally the people you expect to lead the charge into a bright new future.

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Monday February 06, 2017 @08:31PM (#53815845)

    By the end of 2016, China's capacity hit 77.42 gigawatts,... As it stands, solar energy represents only one percent of the country's energy output...The NEA says that China will seek to add more than 110 gigawatts within the next three years, which could help the nation up the proportion of its renewable energy use to 20 percent by 2030

    Adding the 110 gigawatts of "capacity" is a drop in the bucket. Capacity doesn't mean much actual power generated when it comes to solar.

    • Adding the 110 gigawatts of "capacity" is a drop in the bucket. Capacity doesn't mean much actual power generated when it comes to solar.

      We won't always use more and more power.

      My place is very well insulated, I am running LED lights all over the house, and bought the most efficient of all our appliances.

      The results? the Electrical company sends out notices regarding electrical use. Turns out my neighbors beside me use 10 percent less electricity than I do. Considering they are only home perhaps 5 days a month, that doesn't seem too bad.

      I forgot to tell you, I have an efficient outside spa that is kept at 104 degress farenheit all wi

      • We won't always use more and more power.

        There is little evidence available to support that assertion. In fact there has been considerable empirical evidence [wikipedia.org] suggesting exactly the opposite.

        • We won't always use more and more power.

          There is little evidence available to support that assertion. In fact there has been considerable empirical evidence [wikipedia.org] suggesting exactly the opposite.

          So when do you figure we'll be at infinity?

          Regardless - I don't really care, because I'm tailoring my electrical use, and the more that grid power goes up, the sooner I'll be saving money off grid.

          • So when do you figure we'll be at infinity?

            Who said anything about foolish extrapolations? Our energy use will almost certainly continue to increase until it rather precipitously drops to either zero or something close to it. As long as our society holds together we should expect our energy use to increase. If energy use actually falls significantly it probably means something very bad has happened to the human race.

            I don't really care, because I'm tailoring my electrical use, and the more that grid power goes up, the sooner I'll be saving money off grid.

            Hey I'm all for distributed power generation. If you can do what you need without the grid that is awesome. I look forward to the

            • So when do you figure we'll be at infinity?

              Who said anything about foolish extrapolations?

              Just me when I hear suppositions that suggest that. With all of my changes I made to my house, I now use less electricity than in 1993 when I bought it. My quality of life if you will, is much better, and Overall energy consumption electrical and heat via NatGas is way down. I do not consider the idea that energy use will always have to go up as inevitable.

              Our energy use will almost certainly continue to increase until it rather precipitously drops to either zero or something close to it. As long as our society holds together we should expect our energy use to increase. If energy use actually falls significantly it probably means something very bad has happened to the human race.

              As we shift to solar and wind perhaps the small nuc station here and there, we'll have to redefine energy use. The grid however, is probably in deep yogu

              • With all of my changes I made to my house, I now use less electricity than in 1993 when I bought it.

                Which raises the question of how bad was the energy efficiency of your house when you bought it? Don't get me wrong, I'm not being a hater and I really do think what you say you are doing is great. But if the home was relatively efficient to begin with it's harder to make improvements than if it was an energy sink hole. My home for instance was built in 2001. I've done some similar improvements to what you describe and I've saved some money on my monthly bill but it's not a night and day difference beca

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Yes, but they are also massively scaling back their coal and nuclear development. They are really pushing electric vehicles too, on target for over 90% of new bus sales to be electric by 2020.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday February 06, 2017 @08:47PM (#53815917)

    Wouldn't that be the sun?

    • Wouldn't that be the sun?

      Heretic! You shall address his majesty as Lord Sol the Magnanimous Light Bearer, Bringer of Life and Chaser of Luna! I mean, I get why he chases Luna, she's a minx. I mean one time I was out late at night by the lake and-HEY! COME BACK HERE and apologize to Sol for your insolence! HA! That one gets me every time! ;)

"You stay here, Audrey -- this is between me and the vegetable!" -- Seymour, from _Little Shop Of Horrors_

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