Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. says it will contribute to an index that evaluates and rates the clean production characteristics of the Chinese photovoltaic industry.
Organized by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the index is compiled by the China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS) and Yingli Green Energy, as well as other leading PV companies with the support of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).Â
Yingli Green Energy says the establishment and implementation of the index will be an important tool for objectively evaluating the clean production status of PV manufacturers and promote cleaner production and high-efficient consumption of energy through technical transformation and product upgrades. In addition, PV manufacturers will be rated on their efforts to effectively reduce pollution and emissions in the process of production, to strengthen waste reclamation and to lower production costs.
The manufacture of PV modules involves many toxic materials and has, at times, blackened the solar sector's green reputation. A chemical spill at a JinkoSolar facility in 2011 forced the industry to take a hard look at its environmental management policies.
Yingli Green Energy rates highly among the most environmentally conscious PV producers, according to the U.S.-based Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition's 2013 scoring index, although the nonprofit organization says the industry as a whole often keeps their environmental policies from the public.
A recent report from NDP Solarbuzz says that China will become the top country for PV deployment this year. In January, the Chinese government plans to boost its goal for solar power installations to 35 GW by 2015. At the same time, reports of high defect rates among solar panels manufactured in China generated alarm in a solar sector that had come to rely on China-source PV products to keep installation costs low and boost global demand.
The organizers of the Chinese PV index hope it will establish a new criteria for environmentally conscious manufacturing practices.
In a joint statement, the NDRC and MIIT say a good rating on the index is likely to become a necessary requirement for domestic PV project bids, and also will provide important supporting data during mergers and acquisitions in the PV industry. Citing the support of the WWF, the NDRC and MIIT say the index ‘will be more convincing and boost recognition of Chinese PV products in the international market.’