Board Chairman of Tongwei Group Calls for Carbon Tax to Fund Solar Subsidies
Plan aims to raise 100-200 billion yuan a year for renewables
Tongwei strives to become the world’s largest solar-cell maker
The Chinese government should use carbon taxes to fund solar power subsidies, said Liu Hanyuan, board chairman of Tongwei Group,which is planning big investments to expand its solar-cell manufacturing business.
If China set a 10 to 20 yuan ($1.6 to $3.2) per ton tax for carbon emissions, it could generate 100 to 200 billion yuan a year,which then could be used to subsidize renewables, Liu said in a Beijing briefing on Sunday before the start of the National People’s Congress. That’s part of his proposal to China’s top legislative body, in which Liu serves as adelegate. He will be attending the session this month in the nation’s capital.
Liu’s comments come as Tongwei has been expanding its presence in the solar industry. Subsidiary Tongwei Co. said in November it plans to spend 12 billion yuan to build two solar-cell factories, which would make the Chinese firm the world’s biggest manufacturer and help it achieve its goal of 30 gigawatts of cell capacity.
China installed a record 53 gigawatts of solar power capacity last year, according to National Energy Administration data. The nation may add as much as 65 gigawatts this year based on the most optimistic scenario, Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts.
As of the end of last year, China owed solar developers 100 billion yuan in subsidies as surcharges to electricity billsaren’t enough to cover the handouts, Cheng Chenlu, an official at the National Energy Administration, said in January.
China should also cut taxes for the photovoltaicpower industry as the country needs energy transition and a reduction in airpollution, Liu said on Sunday. He asked for China to rely on a market-basedsystem to determine the scale of solar power installations rather than setting project quotas.
Turning to U.S. duties against solar equipment made outside the country, Liu said they could end up hurting the U.S. as well as other nations.