The Era of Clean Energy and its effect in China

Solar Energy is something that human cannot live without. In the age where renewable energy is ever so slightly becoming a strong player in our energy grid, it is often hard to tell just where this energy source will take us. Most people would categorize solar energy as part of the “green” energy. In theory, solar energy capturing is definitely green. What is not green about taking something that is natural and store it and use it when we need it?

It is hard not to talk about China when talking about the solar industry. China is the largest manufacturer of all things that is solar industry. As more homes in the US are now placing panel after panel of solar capturer technologies, we need to reevaluate just how much we are helping our planet.

The Wilson Center recently featured an article by Perry Gottesfeld, Executive Director of OK International, titled, “The Environmental Cost of Clean Energy: China’s Renewable Energy Goals Contribute to Lead Pollution.” The one data that stood out in the article was how 75% of PV solar systems in China are reliant on lead batteries. The article further states that it is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of such battery manufacturing and recycling facilities in China are opened illegally. Studies have shown that lead consumption in China has doubled from 2004 to 2010. Washington Post also revealed that the legacy effects of these manufacturing will be seen for ages.

Furthermore, this week’s ceremonial National People’s Congress. Premier Li Keqiang said Wednesday the government would “declare war” on pollution. But what does this mean? More green industry? More green industry that are sacrifice now for later?

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About t5huang

Masters in Environmental Science at UPenn Candidate
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