June 5, 2007

RIZHAO: China’s Solar-Powered Sunshine City

by Tylene Levesque

Rizhao City, Shandong Province, China, Solar-Powered City

Rizhao 日照 means “sunshine” in Chinese, which is quite an appropriate moniker… Since 2001, Rizhao City (Shandong Province, China) officials have been educating the public and initiating new building regulations to promote the use of solar panels in their city. Traffic lights, street lamps and over 60,000 greenhouses are solar powered. Today, the city of nearly three million has over a half-million square meters of solar water heating panels—99% of households in the central districts use solar water heaters and more than 30% do so in the outlying villages.

Rizhao has a lower per capita income than most other neighboring cities, so Mayor Li Zhaoqian knew the city would have to focus on increasing the efficiency and lowering the cost of solar units. Rather than provide subsidies to solar panel users, the government funded industry research and development. Solar water heaters now cost the same as electric alternatives, roughly $190 (4-5% of the annual average income of a household in town, 8-10% of a rural household’s income) and save users money in the long run.

Solar-Powered Water Heaters, Rooftop in Xian, Shaanxi Province, China
Solar-powered water heaters can be seen on rooftops in many cities in China. Here they are in Xian (Shaanxi Province, China)

Solar-powered kettles in Tibet
Solar-powered kettles pictured in Tibet

+ Via Renewable Energy Access

GE - Imagination at work

10 Responses to “RIZHAO: China’s Solar-Powered Sunshine City”

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faaz Says:


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chris Says:

I think alot about China. It is an amazing place, In one instance it can be a super horrorshow mega-awful soul smashing ironfisted downer,,,,,,but just down the street they’re doing this! HEY WEST WAKE UP!

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meng Says:

it is good to see some real examples of solar energy to be used in China whic is the most popuplated land and still considered to be a poor country per capita…It shows the world that we can do something to stop glabal warming and we do have alternative energy which is better, clean and artistic too …

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Daniel Says:

It is really a surprise that China has such a “solar city” like Rizhao. People are concerning about energy waste and how to use it in their benefit, which is good as a begining of building a real ESD city in China. More and more attentions should be pay on how to improve the technique related to Chinese climate and tradition, and above all, on the public education about the importance of keeping a healthy living style.

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clea Says:

The cover story in the recent issue of SEED magazine is on the greening of China. Fascinating article.

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Dear Sir,
I write from Bangladesh,I see your web side and
interest your Solar project.
Plz.I Request Information and Price Quotation all solar product as early as Possible.

Best regards,
Romio D`Costa
IT Engineer

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Sir ,
Kindly furnish us with your complete product catalog with a price list. We prefer you to send a product binder
to our address at —- Attn. Asuquo ukpong

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gabriel Says:

sir , i am interested in doing your solar powered unit in my village in nigeria. pls. help me out.

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Thach Dinh Says:


I love the concept of solar-power water heaters at Rizhao City, China.
I want to get envole and educate people more on this concept. How can I get intouch with
Rizhao solar-power water heaters manufactor.

Please help,

Thach Dinh

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suranagi Says:

I wish to see many more Plance to follow the example

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