Politics and Solar Power In Other Nations
“If you talk about the clean energy technology race, in many ways, it looks as if the race has already been run, and the winner is China.” Even though China isn’t a democratic nation, its infrastructure in renewable energy resources has led the world in all categories, with solar energy being its brightest beacon.
China is the largest market in the world for both photovoltaics and solar thermal energy. All of this was supercharged by President Xi in 2020, with the announcement that China would reach carbon neutrality by 2060. Even with all the freedoms that a democratic nation possesses, an authoritarian state like China has shown that with a full government focus on renewable energy, carbon neutrality is becoming a reality rather than a far-fetched dream. With a pronounced influence on the world’s production of solar cells and solar modules, China is transitioning into a new industrial transformation, which would lead to more renewable energy sectors within their own country, thereby powering a cleaner future for China.
Even with all of this good news, China is still the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases and is still using coal as a mainstay of its energy resources. However, Chinese solar energy companies such as Jinko Solar, LONGi, and EGing PV will benefit greatly from the domestic transition to solar energy and will fill in the demand for solar energy products around the world.
Other World Solar Energy Politics
As far as politics are concerned, the Chinese government is pushing in an overly positive way to make solar energy a mainstay of their energy resources and will continue to do so until carbon neutrality is reached.
Another country that has found an overwhelmingly positive effect on solar energy via politics is the great country of Australia. Australia as a continent has the highest solar radiation per square meter of any continent and has utilized this fact to its advantage.
The government of Australia enacted the Solar Homes and Communities Plan, which would give residential homeowners an $8,000 AUD rebate ($6,000 USD) on their solar modules and solar panels. They gave an additional incentive to utilize solar power within their communities, and in doing so, over 1.8 million homes in Australia have solar panels installed. Additionally, the Australian government also pooled $1.6 billion for solar power infrastructure over the next six years.
This funding was introduced to produce four new solar plants that would individually produce over 1000 MW (megawatts) worth of power for the citizens of Australia.
The Australian government enlisted monetary incentives for its citizens to switch to solar energy, while also bolstering its energy infrastructure by creating and developing more solar plants to fuel the modern Australia we know of today. As far as politics go, solar energy has been positively influenced by the Australian government, and in doing so – is looking to become carbon neutral around 2070.
In South America, the Brazilian government has also taken a step forward into making their strides in solar power, by utilizing a government stimulus to fund Lisarb Energy, which is funded with the sole purpose of developing large-scale solar projects in Brazil. One of the biggest concerns that the citizens of Brazil had was the fact that energy prices were continually increasing year by year. A study done by McKinsey and Company found that Brazil’s electric power increases at a rate of 65% higher than the rates within the United States.
Through the usage of large-scale solar projects in Brazil, corporations were able to lock in energy rates with the use of corporate power purchase agreements. In doing so, major corporations in Brazil could utilize the land that they own and the buildings that they owned to install solar panels and modules, and whatever energy that they didn’t use throughout the day would be then sold back to energy companies around Brazil. In doing so, the solar power they generated effectively lowered electricity prices and stabilized the increasing rates, allowing Brazilian citizens to pay a lower price for the energy while maintaining that cost for years to come.
In a forecast done by the Brazilian Solar Photovoltaic Energy Association, ABSOLAR, they have stated that “solar will take the largest share (38%) of the Brazilian electricity matrix, producing 125 GW by 2050.” In other words, with the Brazillian government actively investing in renewable energy resources such as solar energy, they have effectively (and positively) induced a new, more cost-efficient age for power for all of their citizens.
Politics in America and around the world are starting to implement laws that lead to positive effects on the solar energy industry, by building laws and infrastructure that will nurture solar energy into a reliable energy resource that will reduce carbon emissions.
In doing so, the precedence of laws supporting solar energy will in turn help shape newer laws that will affect how these individual countries utilize other forms of renewable energy resources such as wind or hydroelectric.
In an effort around the world to fight against climate change, even if there are opponents to it, nothing will stop the inevitable “green wave” of energy as the results will soon speak for themselves.