China builds more solar panels in Q1 2015 than France’s entire capacity

20 Apr 2015

China’s relentless pursuit of renewable energy infrastructure has been shown once again after its government confirmed it had added more than 5GW of clean energy to its hungry grid.

According to Bloomberg, the Chinese National Energy Administration has stated that it was a bumper quarter for the country, which is attempting to move away from the use of fossil fuels to power its vast production facilities throughout the country, which is regularly named as one of the world’s most polluting countries.

These new figures show that, in total, as of 31 March. China is capable of producing 33GW of renewable energy based off its current infrastructure, which outstrips much of the world’s efforts so far.

China has intentions of installing 17.8GW of solar panels this year alone, which would be triple what the US is planning for the same amount of time.

Much of this infrastructure is being built in the country’s remote and desert landscape in the north-west of the country, where 1.1GW of solar energy has been created in the first three months of this year.

The country’s interest in solar photovoltaic technology is not limited to what can be achieved on Earth, however, with news surfacing that one of the country’s most advanced scientific centres – the Chinese Academy of Space Technology – is investigating the potential of creating a giant solar panel array orbiting the Earth that could beam solar energy back wirelessly, potentially in this century.

Solar farm in Shanghai, China image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic