By Liang Yangchun and Wang Min, Almanac of China's Economy, DRC
Research Report, No.24, 2017 (Total 5099) 2017-02-24
Abstract: Many areas in China are now facing the severe problems in economic and social development such as scarce land resources, low land utilization rate, severely damaged ecological environment and a low proportion of renewable energy in energy mix. China’s northwestern region enjoys abundant photovoltaic (PV) resources and a sound basis for the development of PV industry. Given the poor roof quality in the region and the high costs for investment and maintenance, it is suitable to utilize the open space on hillsides in the northwestern region for large-scale development of PV industry. However, most of the lands there are woodlands and herding fields, and in order to protect ecological environment, many restrictions are imposed on the development and construction of PV industry. Field surveys were made on the performance of some PV power stations built on the sunny slopes in the northwestern region and relevant researches were conducted on the ecological environment in various places in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The survey findings and research results show that in light of the local conditions of different areas in the northwestern region, PV power station projects can be developed on the degenerated or disused herding fields of sunny slopes. Solar panels will not only effectively prevent windstorms and fasten sand in the land, but also ease climate warming, improve the vegetation coverage rate, turn disused herding fields into fine grasslands, enhance land utilization rate, and promote economic and social development. By so doing could we achieve win-win results relating to ecological improvement and PV industry development.
Key words: photovoltaic industry, poverty alleviation through the development of PV industry, land use, ecological conservation