Han­ergy aims to build a so­lar fu­ture in China

Build­ing-in­te­grated sys­tems slash en­ergy con­sump­tion, but cost a lot

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By DUJUAN dujuan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s mar­ket for building­in­te­grated pho­to­voltaic en­ergy of­fers huge po­ten­tial for so­lar power com­pa­nies, builders and gov­ern­ments to cut car­bon emis­sions, ex­perts said.

The coun­try aims to have 1.79 bil­lion square me­ters for BIPV build­ings in the next five years, which means a car­bon re­duc­tion of 52 mil­lion metric tons if those ar­eas are equipped with so­lar pan­els for power gen­er­a­tion, said Liu Min, ex­ec­u­tive pres­i­dent of Han­ergy Hold­ing Group, the world’s largest thin-film pho­to­voltaic so­lar panel man­u­fac­turer.

“The mar­ket has a grow­ing need for BIPV projects and China is still stage,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Euro­pean Pho­to­voltaic In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion, BIPV build­ings ac­count for more than 80 per­cent of so­lar power gen­er­a­tion in Europe.

Although China is the world’s largest so­lar panel pro­ducer, more than 95 per­cent of the sec­tor’s out­put is ex­ported.

Strictly speak­ing, the ac­tual pro­duc­tion of so­lar pan­els is not “clean en­ergy”, even though the elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated by so­lar fa­cil­i­ties is, said Li Jun­feng, di­rec­tor of the

at

the

ini­tial Na­tional Cen­ter for Cli­mate Change Strat­egy and In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion.

“China should make more ef­forts to use clean en­ergy such as so­lar and wind,” Li said.

In China, more than 95 per­cent of ex­ist­ing build­ings are en­ergy-in­ten­sive struc­tures, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Hous­ing and Ur­ban-Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment.

En­ergy use in the build­ing con­struc­tion sec­tor ac­counts for 27 per­cent of China’s to­tal en­ergy con­sump­tion. In the past year, the con­struc­tion sec­tor con­sumed en­ergy equal to 1 bil­lion metric tons of stan­dard coal, said the min­istry.

In late Oc­to­ber, Han­ergy an­nounced that the first phase of the BIPVpro­ject at its head­quar­ters in Beijing was com­plete. The company in­stalled 600 kilo­watts of so­lar power gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity in the roofs and cur­tain walls, and those fa­cil­i­ties can sup­ply 20 per­cent of the build­ing’s elec­tric­ity, ac­cord­ing to Han­ergy.

The company will be able to de­rive 100 per­cent of its power sup­ply via BIPV projects after the com­ple­tion of the sec­ond phase.

The project will gen­er­ate 3 mil­lion kilo­watt-hours of elec­tric­ity an­nu­ally and re­duce car­bon emis­sions by 25 mil­lion tons, said the company.

Roofs have been the tra­di­tional area for so­lar panel in­stal­la­tions be­cause of their wide area and good sun­shine con­di­tions. Roofs are per­fect for polysil­i­con so­lar mod­ules, which are shaped like hard plas­tic plates. But thin-film so­lar pan­els, which are flex­i­ble, have made more build­ing ar­eas suit­able for so­lar power panel in­stal­la­tions.

In Beijing’sHuairou dis­trict, the site of the 2014Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion meet­ing, Han­ergy com­pleted a 12.2 kW BIPV project in­March.

How­ever, BIPV projects have a down­side— high costs. The unit cost of such in­stal­la­tions is 800 yuan ($131) to 1,200 yuan per square me­ter. Liu said the payback pe­riod for such projects is eight to 12 years.

In­dus­try sources said the high costs and long payback pe­ri­ods make it dif­fi­cult to at­tract users.

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