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The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has launched an initiative to boost the development of solar energy technology, in a bid to turn it into a major energy source in China by 2050. The initiative, which was approved by CAS's CCP committee on Dec. 23rd, 2008, was made public on the annual meeting of CAS officials in late January.
CAS had started to motivate its experts to make an action plan and to set up a platform to support the research in solar energy utilization. It aims to forge complete value chain including basic research, application research and market research.
The plan will be carried out in three phases, including "utilization in selective areas" by 2015, "utilization as an alternative energy" by 2025 and "large-scale utilization" by 2035, respectively.
CAS experts said that China has a large potential for solar energy development. The duration of sunshine for two-thirds of its territory is more than 2,200 hours a year. It also has vast desert areas, where solar energy could be "harvested". According to an energy industry survey by CAS experts, China has made enormous progress in photovoltaic sector. However, the research centers are scattered and lack of cutting-edge technology.
The United States, Japan and European countries began to develop solar energy in the 1970s. Government investment has greatly promoted solar energy research and development, especially in Japan, Germany and Australia.
Germany has been promoting a so-called "Solar Energy Family Program", and fixed solar energy facilities on the roofs of homes. Japan has launched a program to accelerate the use of solar energy, and to cut the price of solar energy by half within three to five years.
Experts said that lowering the costs for using solar energy is the key for stepping up the use of this renewable energy in China.
About Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
CAS strives to build itself into a scientific research base at advanced international level, a base for fostering and bringing up advanced S&T talents, and a base for promoting the development of China's high and new technology industries. By 2010, CAS will have about 80 national institutes noted for their powerful capacities in S&T innovation and sustainable development or with distinctive features; thirty of them will become internationally acknowledged, high-level research institutions, and three to five will be world class.
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