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China set to become world’s leader in solar power

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credits: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

By NewsGram Staff Writer

China is set to become world’s leader in solar power. The country has almost tripled the number of solar cells which were previously installed in the Gobi desert region. Images taken by NASA satellites show this rapid increase in the number of solar cells installed in order to reduce emissions and switch to greener energy.

The image shows how much land in Gobi desert was covered by solar panels in October 15, 2012.

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Area under solar panels in Gobi desert in October 2012. Courtesy: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

 

The following image shows how much land is covered by solar panels in the Gobi desert now.

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Area of Gobi desert covered by solar panels in May 2015. courtesy: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

The move by China is a part of its move to meet its ambitious pledge made at the UN, to cut carbon emissions. On Tuesday, China said that it would reduce its heat trapping emissions within 15 years and that it aims to boost its share of renewable energy use to 20 percent by 2030. China’s move also shows how it is rapidly turning into world’s largest solar power as it produces almost two-thirds of all solar panels produced in the world.

Last year, it increased its solar capacity more than any other country in the world as is revealed by International Energy Agency. Though Germany has the most cumulative photovoltaic capacity, China comes in as a close second.

In 2014, the IEA says, China boosted its capacity from solar panels by 37 percent to reach a total capacity of 28.1 gigawatts. And in 2015, during the first quarter of 2014, China claims to have added another five gigawatts of solar capacity.

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Google Claims It Has “No Plans” To Relaunch A Search Engine in China

Technology companies have recently been a favorite target of many members of the U.S. Congress, who have criticized them over a wide range of issues such as privacy, work in China and allowing foreign meddling in U.S. elections.

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The Chinese flag is seen near the Google sign at the Google china headquarters in Beijing, China. VOA

The United States’ top general said on Thursday that the Chinese military was benefiting from the work Alphabet Inc’s Google was doing in China, where the technology giant has long sought to have a bigger presence.

“The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military,” Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

“We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit,” he said.

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Lawmakers and Google employees have raised concerns the company would comply with China’s internet censorship and surveillance policies if it re-enters the Asian nation’s search engine market. Pixabay

“Frankly, ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is, it is more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”

Last year Google said it was no longer vying for a $10 billion cloud computing contract with the U.S. Defense Department, in part because the company’s new ethical guidelines do not align with the project.

In June, Google said it would not renew a contract to help the U.S. military analyze aerial drone imagery when it expires, as the company sought to defuse an internal uproar over the deal.

At the same time, Google said it has “no plans” to relaunch a search engine in China, though it is continuing to study the idea.

During the hearing, Republican Senator Josh Hawley sharply criticized the tech company, referring to it as “a supposedly American company.”

FILE - Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a hearing of a Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, March 6, 2019.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a hearing of a Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, March 6, 2019. VOA

Technology companies have recently been a favorite target of many members of the U.S. Congress, who have criticized them over a wide range of issues such as privacy, work in China and allowing foreign meddling in U.S. elections.

Lawmakers and Google employees have raised concerns the company would comply with China’s internet censorship and surveillance policies if it re-enters the Asian nation’s search engine market.

Also Read: India and Pakistan Threaten to Release Missiles at Each Othe

Asked about Dunford’s comments, Google referred to previous statements.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has previously said the company has invested in China for years and plans to continue to do so, but that the company also was continuing to work with the U.S. government on projects in health care, cybersecurity and other fields. (VOA)