The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has announced a program to increase the development of solar energy technology, in a bid to turn it into a major energy source in China by 2050. The proposed program plan aims to form value chain on technological innovation including basic studies, application studies and market research. CAS experts said that China has a big potential for solar energy development. The duration of sunshine for two-thirds of its territory is more than 2,200 hours annually.

A CAS official said that the academy had organized academicians and experts to make an action plan and will build a platform to support scientific innovations involving solar energy.

The plan will be carried out in three phases, including distributed utilization by 2015, alternative utilization by 2025 and large-scale utilization by 2035, respectively.

China also has vast desert areas, where solar energy could be harvested.

The experts said that the use of solar energy could effectively reduce the discharge of green-house gases.

The US, Japan and European countries have started to develop solar energy in the 1970s. Government investment has greatly promoted solar energy research and development, especially in Japan, Germany and Australia.

Germany had launched the solar energy family program, and fixed solar energy facilities on the roofs of a large number of homes. Japan has launched a program to polarize the use of solar energy, and to cut the price of solar energy by half within three to five years.

CAS’s advanced energy scientific and technological innovation center has invited experts and scholars to carry out investigation and research on China’s energy industry.

The experts said that lowering the costs for using solar energy would be the key for stepping up the use of this renewable energy in China.