First Solar, a US solar panel firm, plans to build a two-gigawatt solar farm in China. The farm will be 20 times bigger than the solar energy farm, China is now building in Portugal. When the farm is working in five years, it will produce one thousand megawatts, one gigawatt of energy. This is about 10 times more than the country’s entire installed solar capacity at the moment. In 2019 the plant in Inner Mongolia, will be generating two gigawatts.
So far the Chinese government has been pretty cautious about solar energy. Officials were not very excited about the idea to build much solar capacity until they knew for sure wich technology they wanted to support. They preferred to cooperate with First Solar, one of American most technologically advanced companies. It is remarkable that they did not choose a Chinese firm.
The thin film panels, now technically improved by First Solar, will not be entirely manufactured in China. The firm is considering to build a factory in Ordos. Inner Mongolia. If the plan will be executed, it is expected that if Chines engineers, after learning and improving the technology, start making their own thin film panels to compete with First Solar.
The Chines industry plans to generate 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Yet the industry will still mostly rely on coal in the near future. Currently China is the leader, when it comes to pollution and greenhouses gases. No other county emits so much CO2.