China: The Largest Solar Producer in the World
As solar becomes cheaper and cheaper and with its unlimited availability, we all know how advantageous solar energy is. Unlike with fossil fuels that use finite resources that could eventually become too expensive to retrieve.
Out of all the countries that took advantage the use of solar, China reigns supreme. The National Energy Administration (NEA) made the revelation after the nation doubled its installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2016. By the end of the year, China had hit a capacity of 77.42 gigawatts.
Worth celebrating? If just considering raw numbers, it certainly is. But Chinaâ€™s massive population makes it much less impressive. In fact, solar energy only represents one percent of the countryâ€™s energy output.
However, the country has announced plans to focus even more attention on clean energy, seeking to add more than 110 gigawatts within the next three years. Such a goal could help the nation increase the proportion of its renewable energy use to 20% by 2030. To date, that number stands at a mere 11%.
To help the nation reach its goal, China plans to put more than $360 billion into renewable energy projects, including solar, wind, nuclear, and hydropower. The country currently relies heavily on coal, the burning of which creates smog, soot, acid rain, and toxic air emissions, while also generating waste like ash, sludge, toxic chemicals, and waste heat.
Mining, transporting, and storing coal also pollutes the land, water, and air. But Chinaâ€™s new plan could help the nation to finally obtain cleaner skies. The plan will also boost the economy, creating over 13 million jobs.