In China, air pollution is killing millions of individuals each year. According to a recent study, air pollution contributes to 1.6 million deaths each year, roughly 17 percent of all deaths in China. In order to combat this lethal air pollution, China is starting to use more renewable energy resources as opposed to fossil fuels such as coal or gas.
The use of solar power, in particular, has dramatically increased in the recent years. As part of China’s Five Year Plan, the government called for a specific amount solar panels to be installed in the next few years. More specifically, China plans to increase its solar power capacity by more than 21 percent in 2016. The industry is using low-cost government loans to expand solar panel production, which has prompted a significant decrease in solar prices. Consequently, China is purchasing its own panels; about a third of its total solar module output went to solar panel farms in 2015. In addition to government funding, China has raised surcharges on electricity bills by about 27 percent to promote and subsidize future renewable energy projects. As a result, China is dominating the global solar economy with more than 43,180 megawatts recorded in 2015.
China’s slowing real estate industry is taking advantage of this transition to increase occupancy. For instance, landlords are installing solar panels on rooftops and constructing “green walls” in various rooms. Ultimately, these landlords hope to differentiate themselves from competition in this oversupplied and undervalued market by reducing energy costs and improving air quality.