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EGEB: Despite COVID, China’s solar panel output rises 15.7% in 1H of 2020

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • China produced 59 gigawatts’ worth of solar panels in the first half of the year.
  • A Dutch government advisory board declares that burning biomass is not sustainable.
  • BP boosts its investment in wind energy by acquiring full ownership of an Indiana wind farm.
  • Arcadia Power is committed to making clean energy work for the planet and your bank account — all without changing your utility company. Sign up to receive your $20 Amazon Gift Card.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

China’s solar panel industry prevails

China’s solar panel production industry appears to have skirted the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of 2020.

The country produced 59 gigawatts’ worth of solar panels in the first half of 2020, up 15.7% from 2019, said Wang Bohua, vice chairman of the China Photovoltaic Industry Association, today.

Wang Bohua also said that shipments of completed solar modules reached 27.7 GW from January to May, which was down only 1.8% from 2019. Exports in that time period were expected to have reached 33-35 GW.

China is the largest producer and buyer of solar panels in the world.

Dutch government told: Say no to burning biomass

The Dutch government’s Socio-Economic Council (SER), an independent advisory board of the Dutch government made up of entrepreneurs, employees, and independent experts, said in a July report that the Netherlands should phase out the use of biomass for generating electricity as soon as possible.

Euractiv reports:

In the chemical industry, the building sector, and agriculture, biological materials are crucial for the transition to a circular economy, the council writes. But sustainably produced biomass is too scarce to keep using it for the production of heat or electricity, for which other low-carbon and renewable alternatives exist.

The SER also says that the billions’ worth of subsidies intended for biomass combustion plants should be phased out as well, and companies who lose out should be compensated.

The Dutch government will use the advice to put together a “sustainability framework” for bio-resources. It will be presented in the fall.

BP fully acquires an Indiana wind farm

London-headquartered energy giant BP has acquired full ownership of the 42,000-acre Fowler Ridge 1 wind farm in Indiana. (BP says it’s aiming to be net zero by 2050 — but it won’t drop fossil fuels.) BP has bought half the wind farm from Virginia-headquartered Dominion Energy, making it now the full owner. Fowler Ridge is about 30 miles northwest of Lafayette.

According to Inside Indiana Business, Fowler Ridge 1 farm includes 162 wind turbines that can generate 300 megawatts of power.

BP now operates the Fowler Ridge 1, 2, and 3 farms that encompass 355 turbines on 42,000 acres. The farms can power 160,000 homes a year. BP is a 50/50 joint partner with AEP Renewables on Fowler Ridge 2.

This will increase BP’s wind generation capacity across the US by more than 15%, totaling 1,076 MW of energy. It now operates 970 wind turbines on nine wind farms in Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota. It also has a stake in a tenth wind farm in Hawaii. Those wind farms generate enough green energy to power 450,000 homes.

BP Wind Energy CEO Al Vickers said:

This reflects our confidence in renewable energy, and the possibility for further growth in this sector.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.