Thin film solar power expected to be new driver for economy

By Zhang Ye China can build portable new energy into an industry with global comparative edges as a means to boost growth and reduce pollution, the head of a ­Chinese renewable energy giant said on Monday.

The country’s generation of thin film solar power, a portable new energy, would be worth over 8 trillion yuan ($1.28 trillion) within three years, three or five times the country’s automobile industry, Li Hejun, CEO of Hanergy Holding Group and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said on Monday during the ongoing two sessions.

Li made a proposal to fast-track the portable energy industry, and said it would become a new growth point for China’s economy.

Flexible and lightweight thin film photovoltaic technology is expected to be a convenient way of charging devices such as phones and electric cars with the use of solar energy, in line with the country’s clean energy strategy.

China plans to lift its use of non-fossil fuels, such as nuclear and renewable energy, to about 20 percent of the total by 2030

The outlook of thin film solar power, a new energy trend, can be promising, as countries around the world including China and the US are issuing aggressive support for the expansion of renewable energy, Zhao Zheng, a professor at Beijing Normal University and a green energy expert, told the Global Times Monday.

But Zhao said he believes that Li is too optimistic about the industry in China, which the professor said is still far from taking off, let alone becoming a new driver for the Chinese economy in the near future.

“The thin film photovoltaic ­technology, now only a concept in the lab, has not been widely applied at the consumer level, due to high costs and a cold market reception for new ­energy-powered products,” Zhao noted.

Analysts said that costs can be ­reduced, if more companies are willing to jump into the thin film solar power production, which needs government encouragement and incentives.(People’s Daily and Global Times)