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Nation generates solar-power guidelines
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China is speeding up the development of industry standards to guide solar-power generation, officials and experts told a conference.

The nation is one of the leading manufacturers of photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight to electricity, although it exports virtually all the products as solar generation is not economic without subsidies from governments or local authorities.

But forming standards has lagged behind the development of the PV cell manufacturing sector, said Li Aixian, director of the Sub-Institute of Resource and Environment Standardization of the China National Institute of Standardization.

China has promulgated 15 national standards for the solar water-heating sector, with another six under development, but there is no related standard yet for solar-power generation, Li said.

The only forms of renewable energy that are competitive in the Chinese mainland without subsidies are solar heaters and hydropower projects.

"Now we have three standards under development for the solar-power generation sector, and a standardization committee will be set up soon," Li told a three-day workshop hosted by US National Institute of Standards and Technology and testing and certification organization Underwriters Laboratories, which concluded yesterday in Shanghai.

The standards for solar generation will cover sectors such as fundamentals, components and materials, generation systems and technological design, Li said.

L.F. Lai, vice president and general manager of UL China, said with rising demand for certification services, Chinese solar-power makers who are unsure of requirements for international certification are turning to the agency for guidance.

(Shanghai Daily June 26, 2008)

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