The future looks bright for solar panel manufacturers, as the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference is about to get started next week. Leaders from countries all over the globe will converge in Copenhagen to look for solutions with regard to the dangers of climate change. This is a major step in the battle against global warming.
One sector that would closely monitor the results of the Copenhagen Summit are solar panel manufacturers. At present China is the world’s top manufacturer of solar cells, with industry leaders Suntech and Trina calling it their home. Chinese manufacturing plants have increased their production capacity in 2009 to eight gigawatts, which is more than the projected global demand of 7.5 gigawatts.
The only downside to this surge in demand is that solar cell prices are at a record low due to the global financial crisis. Large solar projects were canceled. The Copenhagen Summit will hopefully turn things around in this area, as one of the agenda items at the conference is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
Dr. James Hansen, one of the first scientists to warn of the dangers of global warming, stated that the world leaders must not compromise anything if they really want to solve the problem. He opposes the carbon market scheme being proposed, under which permits to pollute can be bought and sold.
Before the Copenhagen Summit has even begun, four of the major carbon gas emitters have stated they will be decreasing their carbon emissions. The four are the United States, the European Union, China, and India.
China will be launching an ambitious scheme aimed at increasing the country’s use of sustainable, clean energy. Chinese solar manufacturers used to import most of their products, but in the next three to four years the local market will be the largest one in the world.
Further, China has commenced its Golden Sun stimulus plan, wherein the government will subsidize half of the cost of transmission facilities and solar power generation. This will reduce the Chinese manufacturers’ dependence on the overseas market. If everything goes as planned, 10% of China’s energy will come from renewable energy by 2010.
One of the goals of the Copenhagen Summit is to make the wealthier countries cut down on their emissions so poorer nations will follow their example. With luck, something good will come out of COP15 that will benefit all of us.