A big deal to the world of solar panels?
A new Chinese solar power company has unveiled plans to develop a range of smart buildings and other technologies to boost energy efficiency, boost demand and help make the country a major player in solar power generation and distribution.
The solar-panel company, Suncorp, has unveiled a new solar-power technology that could potentially transform how people live and work in China and other countries, said Sun Zheng, chief executive officer of Suncorps China Power Energy Technology Group.
The technology, called the Sunpower solar-energy storage solution, could be deployed as an energy-saving measure in buildings and in other areas, said Mr Sun Zheng.
The company, based in China’s northeastern city of Qingdao, is the latest of a number of companies in China to try to capitalize on the rapid rise of renewable energy, said Daniel Ziegler, managing director of the Beijing-based energy-focused consultancy Energy Aspects.
“China’s government has been investing in solar-solar projects, and we are seeing the government ramp up investments and incentives for companies to invest in solar energy storage, which will be a key component of that,” he said.
“There are a lot of projects out there, but none of them are really commercialized,” Mr Ziegle said.
Suncorp’s product is a technology called the sunpower storage solution.
The idea is to use solar energy to generate a power grid that can store the power generated by solar panels in a solar storage system.
The storage system would be connected to a power source that would generate energy from solar panels.
“The storage system could be installed on buildings that can’t be connected directly to the grid, but could still generate power for the grid,” Mr Sun said.
The product, which was recently named a top innovation by the National Energy Technology Foundation, will be available by 2020 and cost between $US1.6 million and $US2 million.
SunPower, which is based in California, plans to sell the product through a network of about 100 retail outlets and distributors in China, the world’s biggest solar market.
“We’re looking to accelerate the adoption of this technology, and our goal is to make it available to everyone in China,” Sun’s Mr Sun told reporters.
“It’s a huge opportunity for China and a huge benefit for our customers.”
Mr Sun said the technology would be scalable, which would mean it could be adapted to suit different business models, like buildings, office buildings and homes.
“It will be able to be deployed in different markets, including residential, commercial, agriculture and energy-intensive industries,” Mr Zhang said.
“We’re also working with a number other companies around the world, like Panasonic and Vestas, to make sure we can get the technology into those markets as well.”
Suncorps’ technology, which relies on solar cells with a single, highly efficient photovoltaic cell, can be scaled up to more than 400 times the efficiency of a conventional solar cell.
The Sunpower storage system is also the first of its kind, and the first solar-storage product that could be offered in a mainstream form for the global market.
The government has set a goal of generating 30% of China’s electricity from renewables by 2020, and has also announced plans to build 1.8GW of new solar photovores over the next four years.
The government also wants to reach the goal of installing one-tenth of the worlds total capacity by 2025.