Video: China’s Solar King
August 9, 2016
While climate deniers in the US and elsewhere seek to stop solar energy at every turn, smart entrepeneurs in China and other emerging economies see the potential, and are acting.
Huang Ming, founder and CEO of Himin Solar Energy, is known as the “Solar King” of China. A former oil industry engineer, Huang made a life-changing decision to begin his company when his daughter was born: “I worried about there being no blue skies for her to see, so I changed my thinking from oil to solar power.”
When Huang started Himin Solar Energy, he had a dream of making it the Silicon Valley of solar energy. The company began to grow quickly – so quickly Huang didn’t realize its profits were doubling each year, helping China become the world’s largest consumer of solar energy.
Himin’s corporate headquarters are in Dezhou, a city that’s leading the way for renewable energy in China. Dezhou has 124 miles (200 kilometers) of roads with solar-powered streetlights and 90 percent of the buildings use solar water heaters. Himin Solar Energy is helping drive the creation of this solar-powered infrastructure in part by manufacturing 3 million solar water heaters a year, which Dezhou and other cities in China have purchased. These solar water heaters alone have prevented the burning of over 200 million tons of coal over the last 20 years. But it doesn’t stop there. About 800,000 of the city’s 5.5 million residents now have careers in the solar industry – and Huang Ming’s dream is beginning to come true.
Let’s face it: China is ahead of the game when it comes to solar. The nation produced 64 percent of the world’s solar energy in 2013 and currently invests more in solar than any other country. It’s time for the rest of the world to catch up so we can create the global clean energy economy we need to stop climate change and thrive into the future.
Meanwhile, in the US:GreenTechMedia:
The Nevada Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision on Thursday that blocks constituents from voting to restore favorable rates to rooftop solar customers. The decision puts increased pressure on lawmakers to implement a policy change during the next legislative session.
The decision addresses a ballot initiative championed by the Bring Back Solar Alliance, a rooftop solar advocacy coalition backed by SolarCity. The referendum sought to repeal a piece of law that allowed utility regulators to impose higher fees on home solar customers.
Regulators approved the new tariff rate in late December. The order increased the fixed service charge for net-metered solar customers, and gradually lowered compensation for net excess solar generation from the retail rate to the wholesale rate for electricity over four years. The changes took effect on January 1, 2016 and promptly brought the rooftop solar market in the state to a standstill, causing companies to cut jobs. The changes were applied retroactively to all net-metered solar customers, eliciting a strong backlash from solar companies and consumer groups.