China’s farmers embrace rooftop solar power

China has vowed to accelerate the installation of clean energy. Rooftop solar installations have emerged as a major force to achieve that. Nearly 53 gigawatts of solar capacity were added in 2021, with more than half coming from rooftop installations.

Experts say that the promotion of rooftop solar panels can contribute to China’s rural vitalization, as it increases farmers’ income, and improves their living environment.

An increasing number of households in rural China are taking loans to install solar panels on rooftops, as they not only provide enough power for the households, but also generate additional income from sale of excess electricity.

Mr. Zheng is one of them, who has been enjoying free electricity after installing the panels.

For solar companies and banks, it is a win-win relationship. It allows the companies to tap new customers and gives a fillip to the role of banks in the country’s rural vitalization efforts.

Normally, there are three ways for rural households to set up solar panels on rooftops.

The first method is to let out the roof to companies that will install the solar panels. The household can collect the rental fees. This method has zero risks but low returns.

The second option is to pay the full price for setting up the solar panels and then pocket all profits from selling electricity. However, the cost is something that most of the households cannot afford.

The third option is to take a photovoltaic loan, in which case farmers pay just 30 percent of the construction fee at first and enjoy good returns.

Source: Shanghai Eye, 14 Jul 2022