Smart cities and the solar energy revolution in China – why do the Chinese put solar panels on their roofs?

What role do solar panels play in green energy developments in China?

China’s extremely rapid economic development the past decades has led to serious environmental degradation locally and is a central driver of global climate and environmental challenges. Energy is at the core of these challenges, fuelled by a significant dependence on coal.

In recent years, however, China has emerged as a potential driver of a green energy revolution, due to heavy investments in renewable energy technologies. The increase in China’s investments in solar energy the past decade has been explosive:At the end of 2017, China had a capacity of 129 000 megawatts (MW) of solar PV compared to a mere 100 MW in 2007. During 2017 alone, the capacity of MW increased with an astounding 53 000 MW.

This seminar considers the use of solar panels and their role in Chinese smart eco-city projects. Based on in-depth interviews with policy makers, urban planners and renewable energy experts, as well as site-visits at several rural and urban rooftop PV projects, the seminar goes into detail investigating the reasons for increased use of urban and rural rooftop solar power systems in China, pointing out the various challenges and opportunities that have arisen with the increasing decentralization of electricity generation.

MARIUS KORSNES is a post doctoral researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture in Trondheim, Norway.

This seminar is free and open to all. Coffee and fruit will be served.

Publisert 7. nov. 2018 09:58 - Sist endret 7. nov. 2018 10:08