Applied Materials announced that Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang toured the company’s state-of-the-art SunFab Solar Module Reliability Testing facility yesterday in Xi’an, China, and met with company executives to discuss the future prospects for solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity in China. The Vice Premier viewed the solar PV array at the campus, the largest in Shaanxi province and one of the largest in China, and watched a demonstration of the rigorous solar panel testing process conducted in the laboratories.
“Vice Premier Li’s visit to Applied underscores the importance the Chinese government is placing on renewable energy and in particular solar,” said Barry Quan, President of Applied Materials China. “We are honored that he chose to visit our facility and look forward to working closely with the government in Xi’an and at the national level to help accelerate the utilization of solar throughout China.”
Vice Premier Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee was accompanied by Mr. Yuan Chunqing, Governor of Shaanxi Province, Mr. Zhang Ping, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, and Mr. Sun Qingyun, Party Secretary of Xi'an City.
Applied Materials established an Engineering and Development Center in Xi'an in 2007 and opened the SunFab Module Reliability Testing laboratory there in 2008. The lab is the first of its kind in China which enables Applied to test solar modules in-house as it continues to improve its processes and product offerings over time. Applied was recently named the world’s largest producer of equipment for the solar PV industry.
The company also recently broke ground on phase two of its new Global Solar R&D Center in Xi'an. When completed, the facility will include a state-of-the-art solar technology center for R&D, engineering, demonstration, validation and training for both crystalline silicon and thin film solar equipment and processes. Applied Materials has a long history in China and is celebrating its 25th anniversary of operations in China in 2009.
Today, the U.S. and China together use about half of the total energy consumed in the world and produce a similar share of greenhouse gas emissions. The world’s energy demands are increasing, creating an unprecedented urgency for solutions. More than two-thirds of China receives over 2000 hours of sunlight each year providing a great opportunity to harness the power of the sun as a clean, renewable source of energy to help meet the needs of a growing economy.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for the United States and China to work together to our mutual benefit and to make solar a more meaningful part of the energy supply of both countries,” said Charles Gay, President of Applied Solar and co-chair of the Renewable Energy Working Group for the U.S.-China Clean Energy Forum. “With the government’s support and commitment we can help make solar a more affordable option and grow the market for solar panels throughout China.”
The U.S.-China Clean Energy Forum is a high-level, private-sector-led forum focused on addressing how the U.S. and China can cooperate on clean energy technologies and alternative fuels. The Forum includes experts in energy, finance and public policy who are cooperating to identify priorities and explore solutions in three broad topical areas: energy conservation and efficiency, environmental protection and renewable energy. Applied Materials is a charter supporter of the Forum.