While U.S. moves toward coal, China bets big on solar
DATONG, China -- Scott Pruitt, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, declared Monday that "the war on coal is over." He told an audience in Kentucky that he plans to repeal an Obama-era rule that limits carbon emissions from power plants that burn coal.
China, on the other hand, is doing the opposite. Coal is on the way out and solar power is coming in.
On a farm in northern China, they are planting a new crop: Nearly 200,000 solar panels in the heart of coal country.
In the south, China flipped the switch on the world's largest floating solar installation -- built on top of a lake created by an abandoned coal mine. Projects like these helped China double its solar capacity last year. It is now twice as big as the U.S. capacity.
Nearly half of all the solar installations in the world are now happening in China and they're doing it quickly. Greenpeace says they are installing the equivalent of a soccer field full of solar panels, every hour of every day.
But China now produces two-thirds of the world's solar panels and has become a major competitor for the U.S. solar industry, which employs a quarter million of American workers.
[–]Politicsthrowaway17 238 points 1 day ago
Meanwhile in America, the EPA chief is still fighting the nonexistent "war on coal"... Fuck this administration.
[–]prototype7 67 points 1 day ago
Yeah, but the imaginary one where big solar and big wind are destroying the livelihoods of hardworking coal miners... Not the actual one where natural gas is cheaper and mechanization coupled with Mountaintop removal mining means the companies need fewer workers.
[–]NSA_Monitoring 423 points 1 day ago
We wonder why we are steadily losing out to China.
[–]cb1920-1518-13 231 points 1 day ago
Don't worry, becoming protectionist at this point will clearly keep all the jobs in America. That's how trade works right? It's a zero sum game! The world won't just leave the U.S. behind... right?
[–]schistkickerGeorgia 68 points 1 day ago
Somehow they think that because the US is the world's biggest economy now that we'll always be that way by some divine right. Nevermind that between China and India, once they fully industrialize they'll have upwards of 2.5 billion citizens looking to obtain a middle-class lifestyle and the goods and services that come with it...
[–]CallusDem 11 points 1 day ago
The Chinese are a lot of things, but they aren't idiots. Hopefully it will not be too late for the US to catch up in renewable energy in 2020 (hopefully sooner).
[–]IraGamagoori_ 28 points 1 day ago
If idiots learned, they wouldn't be idiots any more.
[–]redditor9000 3 points 22 hours ago
The 21st century will see the rise of China regardless of who we vote into office here.