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China appears to be looking to shake its reputation for being the world's largest coal-consuming nation and make the switch to more ecologically popular solar energy. As well as powering its own vast country, China is making plans to power the equally vast continent of Africa as well.
Currently, China is the largest manufacturer of photovoltaic panels and has the lofty goal of reducing Africa's dependence on environment-damaging fossil fuels. The plan is to start projects in 40 African nations. Solar facilities already exist in a few countries like South Africa, Algeria, Rwanda and the Gambia. "We'll begin investigating this month in Africa to determine a suitable project in each country, such as installing solar panes on the rooftops of schools and hospitals," said the aptly named Sun Guangbin, the secretary general of photovoltaic products for the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.
The planned program could require 650 million yuan or $100 million in investment. The project would use competitive bidding and their own solar panels. The price of monocrystalline cells declined 7.5 percent to $1.14 per watt from last month. In anticipation of the 60 percent export growth value of solar panels this year, China wants to expand its horizons to the African market. Each individual installation is expected to cost 10 to 20 million yuan or $1.5 to $3 million.
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