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China set to become world’s leader in solar power

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credits: earthobservatory.nasa.gov
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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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To Pursue Philanthropy, Alibaba’s Chief Executive Jack Ma Steps Down

Ma is retiring as at a time when the China is embroiled in an escalating trade war with the US and the Chinese economy is facing slowing growth and increasing debt.

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alibaba
The logo is displayed at the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. VOA

In a surprising move, China’s richest man, Jack Ma, has revealed plans to step down as the Executive Chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba on Monday to pursue philanthropy in education, paving the way for a change of guard for the $420 billion Internet company that he co-founded.

Ma will turn 54 on Monday, which is also a holiday in China and known as Teacher’s Day.

In an exclusive New York Times interview, the Chinese billionaire said on Friday that his retirement was not the end of an era but “the beginning of an era”.

“I love education,” the Chinese billionaire said, adding that he would be spending more of his time and fortune focused on education.

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A former English teacher, Ma co-founded Alibaba with 17 others out of his apartment in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in 1999.

He built it into one of the world’s most consequential e-commerce and digital payments companies, transforming how Chinese people shop and pay for things which fuelled his net worth to more than $40 billion, making him China’s richest man.

Ma is revered by many Chinese, some of whom have put his portrait in their homes to worship in the same way that they worship the God of Wealth.

Ma will remain on Alibaba’s board of directors and continue to mentor the company’s management.

The retirement makes Ma one of the first founders among a generation of prominent Chinese Internet entrepreneurs to step down from their companies.

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Visitors walk past a giant display at the Alibaba Group headquarters in Hangzhou, in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, May 27, 2016. VOA

Firms including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and JD.com have flourished in recent years, growing to nearly rival American Internet behemoths like Amazon and Google in their size, scope and ambition.

Last month, Alibaba reported a 60 per cent increase in quarterly sales, even as profits fell.

The company’s annual revenue totals about 250 billion yuan ($40 billion).

Alibaba has also changed the way people work in China. Millions of people now run their own shops selling goods on its Taobao ecommerce platform or stream their own videos on its entertainment platforms, The Financial Times reported.

Taobao is estimated to have created almost 37m jobs in China, according to a study last year by Renmin University’s School of Labour and Human Resources, the report added.

For Chinese tycoons to step aside in their 50s is rare; they usually remain at the top of their organisations for many years.

Alibaba
Ma is revered by many Chinese, some of whom have put his portrait in their homes to worship in the same way that they worship the God of Wealth. Flickr

In an interview earlier this week, Ma had signaled that he was thinking about focusing more on philanthropy. He cited the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates as an example.

Also Read: Researchers In China Discover a Potential Antibiotic

Ma is retiring as at a time when the China is embroiled in an escalating trade war with the US and the Chinese economy is facing slowing growth and increasing debt, The New York Times report said. (IANS)