Following China’s Lead in the Emerging Solar Energy Market – Alicia Procello Maddox

Solar Energy Market

Life in 2017 is one that provides comforts generations before us could only have dreamed of. From the drip coffee machine, we use daily, to the TV we watch, to the chargers on our electric toothbrushes; US citizens are by far the foremost consumers of electrical energy. However, this daily glut of electricity takes its toll on the environment and does little in the way of conservation. And while we are able to charge our smartphones any and everywhere, much of the developing world still struggles with keeping the lights on. This is where solar energy and the development of solar panels comes in. China is the foremost producer of solar panels in the world, and their solar industry is expected to produce 25% more panels in 2017 than the last year, with projections showing that figure to rise exponentially every year following.

The solar panels being produced in China in 2017 will be more efficient and hold a capacity of 60 gigawatts, as opposed to maxing out at 48 GW in 2016. And what this means for those countries in need of solar energy is more bang for their buck, and the possibility of more homes in under-developed regions being served with electricity at cheaper rates.

This current surge in solar energy comes at a perfect time. Around the world, more than 2.5 Billion people do not currently have access to power, and for most of these people, power is generated through unreliable, environmentally un-friendly sources, such as toxic fossil fuels. This type of energy is non-renewable, and creates greenhouse gasses which devastate the air and environment, causing catastrophic issues with health and farming. With the use of solar panels, the energy would come from the sun’s rays, a completely renewable resource which isn’t depleting in any of our lifetimes. The best advantage of China’s solar panels is that they are not dependent on access to the electrical grid, which allows those in rural, undeveloped nations to still have electricity.

More Information Alicia Procello Maddox

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Author: Alicia Procello Maddox

Alicia Procello Maddox serves as president of the Avery Dennison Foundation at the Avery Dennison Corporation.

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