Tuesday, April 17, 2012

China's Great Solar Opportunity for Australia

Opportunities for greater collaboration between Australia and China were in the spotlight for the Chief Executive of the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES), John Grimes, when he spoke at the Sixth China (Jinan) Solar Utilization Convention and Exhibition in Shandong Province this month (March 22nd-25th 2012).

"Events of this nature really put into focus the rapidly growing market for solar energy in China," Grimes said.

"With support from municipal, provincial and central governments, China is now the 7th largest market for PV solar in the world, and will only assume even greater importance in coming years as China works towards ambitious targets to reduce its energy consumption and carbon emissions while boosting renewable energy production levels."

"Participation in these forums is vital to gaining a better insight into the state of the solar energy market in China, building contacts with the key players, and seeking new opportunities to deploy Australian expertise in partnership with Chinese companies and organisations," Grimes said.

Grimes will use the Shandong event to provide an overview of the development of the solar industry in Australia, highlighting the fact that Australia produced more than one gigawatt of solar energy in 2011, most of it installed by individual home-owners and connected to the electricity grid.

"Over 500,000 Australian households are producing solar energy, and over one million homes have solar hot water systems," Grimes said.

"We are one of the major markets for solar energy in the Asia-Pacific region which will account for around one-quarter of global solar PV demand by 2015.

"Australia is the ninth largest market for solar PV in the world, after Japan (4th) and China (7th).

"Solar PV production in the Asia-Pacific region grew by 165 per cent during 2011, so Australia is strategically located both geographically and economically to take advantage of the Asia-Pacific solar boom, including in China" Grimes said.

"As one of the world's leaders in solar energy innovation and expertise, Australia has a key role to play in China's solar revolution," Grimes said.

"There are also important signals for Australian Government and industry, with reports that China is looking to cap its coal energy consumption by 2015, meaning a switch from coal (including imports from Australia) to other energy sources such as solar." [reference: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/china-threatens-to-pierce-coal-export-bubble-47613 ]

"Australia must be ready for this significant change in China's future energy consumption habits."

SOURCE: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinas-great-solar-opportunity-for-australia-2012-03-26

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