Wednesday January 23, 2019
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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.

Next Story

Trade War Between Washington and Beijing Effecting Farmers

Roger Lande says sometimes China does things “we don’t like,” but all relationships, with family, friends and business associates, have ups and downs.

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China, USA, Trade War
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participate in a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. VOA

The trade war between Washington and Beijing is hurting farmers who grow huge amounts of soybeans in Iowa for export to the massive Chinese market.

Farmers in Iowa hope that the strong commercial and close personal relationships that China and the U.S. farm state have nurtured for many years will help the two sides overcome complications like the record U.S. trade deficit with China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited Iowa farmers repeatedly over the past couple of decades and former Iowa governor Terry Branstad is now the U.S. ambassador to Beijing.

The close ties have been strained by Washington’s allegations that China unfairly manipulates markets, steals American intellectual property, and creates bureaucratic obstacles to trade. China also accuses the United States of unfair practices.

FILE - Justin Roth holds a handful of soybeans at the Brooklyn Elevator in Brooklyn, Iowa, Nov. 21, 2018.
– Justin Roth holds a handful of soybeans at the Brooklyn Elevator in Brooklyn, Iowa, Nov. 21, 2018. (voa0

Tariff war

The United States imposed tariffs on Chinese exports, and Beijing retaliated with tariffs on American agricultural products.

That meant that Iowa soybeans were more expensive and less competitive on global markets.

Demand for U.S. soybeans — and prices paid to U.S. farmers — plunged $85 a metric ton.

An Iowa farmer who manages several farms, including 153 hectares of soybeans, says his profits fell 100 percent for 2018. David Miller is not happy to lose money but says without the tariffs, China would not pay any attention to the talks.

FILE - farmer Michael Petefish walks through his soybeans at his farm near Claremont in southern Minnesota.
– farmer Michael Petefish walks through his soybeans at his farm near Claremont in southern Minnesota.(VOA0

Needing each other

China really needs what Iowa produces, according to Grant Kimberley, the marketing manager for the Iowa Soybean Association, who has been to China more than 20 times.

“China needs soybeans … because their middle class has grown, and that means they are eating more protein in their diet, more meat, and if you have more meat production, you have to have more soybeans to feed those animals,” he said.

Kimberley’s family runs a 600 hectare farm, 48 kilometers from Des Moines, which was one of the places visited by Xi, who saw that it uses more advanced equipment and technology than is available to Chinese farmers.

The former director of Iowa’s department of natural resources, Roger Lande, and his wife, Sarah, have twice hosted Xi, at their home in the small town of Muscatine.

Also Read: Amidst Weakened Domestic Demand, China Expected To Report Slow Economic Growth

Roger Lande says sometimes China does things “we don’t like,” but all relationships, with family, friends and business associates, have ups and downs.

Kimberley is optimistic things will work out.

“Because that’s a long-standing relationship that’s been in place for 35 years,” he said. And “I think the overall underlying support and the people that are involved between the states and the province is still strong. And, and everybody recognizes that, over the long term, eventually this will get resolved,” he added. (VOA)