PV a major driver of energy restructuring, Gao tells forum

Trina Solar will "continue to drive growth through innovation, quicken the pace of the energy revolution and use solar to benefit all mankind", the company's CEO and chairman, Gao Jifan, has pledged.

Mr Gao made the comment at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan province, held from March 26-29, after he had listened to the keynote address by China's Premier, Li Keqiang.

At a time of so much uncertainty, the premier’s speech once again boosted confidence in growth, Mr Gao said.

At this year’s forum Mr Gao was invited to join discussions at several breakout forums and roundtable meetings, including the Energy Leaders’ Roundtable, the Energy Industry in Revolution session, the China-Japan CEOs’ Dialogue and the China-ASEAN Provincial and Municipal Mayors’ Dialogue.

Mr Gao said that last year 104 GW of installed solar PV capacity was added worldwide – more new capacity than any other power source– and that in some countries the cost of PV generation was now close to, or even lower than, that of thermal power. According to predictions by the International Renewable Energy Agency, PV’s power generation share will rise from 3% today to more than 30% by 2050.

Energy restructuring has begun, he said, and the new-energy era is already upon us, with solar PV a major driver.

“Chinese companies’ investment in innovation in the energy sector is currently benefiting the whole world, and it is driving the global energy revolution. Once the Chinese PV industry has slipped through on the inside of its rivals to take pole position it will take on a greater responsibility to contribute more Chinese wisdom and Chinese ideas to the global low-carbon transformation."

Speaking about his energy vision for the future, Mr Gao said: “Energy in future will involve a sharing mechanism based on shared data and smart interconnectivity. This will produce a new energy system backed by energy marketisation and the sharing economy. This new system will be clean, low-carbon, secure, autonomous and low-cost. The PV of the future will be a combination of solar power, stored energy and hydrogen fuel, which will be achieved on a foundation of digitisation and smart technology.”

Taking as an example stored energy, a key component of the energy revolution, Trina Solar has made considerable headway in its practical exploration, having provided large-scale industrial and commercial systems solutions in the Maldives, Mauritania and Alice Springs, Australia.

The Maldives project is a microgrid solution devised to meet the different power demands of 27 of the Maldives’ islands as well as the existing power-use structure. It has provided power for about 11,000 households, each year saving 5,000 litres of diesel fuel and cutting CO2 emissions by 12.5 tonnes.

Mr Gao said that more and more attention is being paid worldwide to balancing economic growth with environmental protection. Governments are encouraging the development of low-emission, environmentally friendly industries – and PV and stored energy are exactly this type of industry.

“Trina Solar will continue as before, supporting the energy revolution through technical innovation and industry innovation, to help the energy structure evolve in a cleaner, greener direction.”