France is one of the countries that have stepped up its efforts to develop the solar sector. The government is trying to encourage the production of solar energy in France by introducing new rules and regulations. The first step is to increase solar capacity, which is expected to grow to over 3% of the country's total electricity demand by 2022. The second step is to expand solar production capacity. In July, the Chinese company Haiyuan Material announced the commission of a 600-MW heterojunction cell factory. The country's largest polysilicon supplier, Daqo, has announced plans to raise RMB11 billion ($1.74 billion) through a share private placement. In the meantime, another development has been made in the field of solar power.
In France, solar energy covered 3% of the nation's electricity demand last year. In December, the cumulative solar capacity was 13,067MW. Another development in Germany is the installation of a 2.4-MW rooftop solar array at the stadium of the SC Freiburg football club. The 2.1-MW rooftop array will utilize heterojunction modules from Meyer Burger. Despite the recent advances in solar technology, the French government plans to mandate the testing of foreign solar equipment. This move comes amid fears that there are not enough testing facilities in the country.
The Chinese have been following America's efforts to wean itself off of oil, and the Chinese have adopted similar policies. They are also making solar energy more affordable. In addition to making the technology more available, they are making solar power systems more efficient. Currently, the American drive to decarbonize is a national priority, and the Chinese approach to renewables is all about energy security. If the United States were to ignore this trend, it would lead to colossal imports of conventional fossil fuels, which would ultimately cripple the Chinese economy.
In June, Haiyuan Material announced it will commission a 600-megawatt heterojunction cell factory. Similarly, polysilicon supplier Daqo said it planned to raise RMB11 billion ($1.74 billion) in a share private placement. And lastly, Chinese manufacturer Bslbatt unveiled a modular lithium-ion battery with a storage capacity of 5.1 to 30 kWh. The battery is designed for off-grid storage of solar energy and is capable of steady operation for 6,000 charge cycles.
The German government is encouraging the development of solar energy in the country and has enacted laws encouraging its use. Last December, the cumulative solar power capacity in the country reached 13,067MW. Another recent development is the stadium of SC Freiburg, a football club in Germany. In a rooftop solar array, the club's fans can generate up to 2.4 megawatts of electricity. The installation of the 2.4-megawatt array is expected to cost $120 million and will use Meyer Burger heterojunction modules. The French government has also moved to mandate the testing of foreign solar equipment. The French are concerned that there are not enough test sites to ensure the quality of foreign equipment.