Tongwei Group says solar power could triple incomes of Chinese aquaculture farmers

Published on
May 16, 2016

A plan from a major aquaculture and feed conglomerate in China is seeking to require all of the country’s aquaculture facilities to install solar panels above their ponds.

‘Yu Guang Yi Ti’ (which roughly translates as ‘Integrated Fishing and Solar’) is a new strategy document from the Tongwei Group. It promises to subsidize the rehabilitation of the sector while also meeting China’s demand for cleaner energy.

In its document, Tongwei calculates 3,000 hectares of fish ponds (out of China’s 120 million mu, or 8 million hectares, of fresh-water aquaculture) could generate up to 1,500 gigawatts of solar energy per year. The ‘Yu Guang Yi Ti’ document projects a threefold increase in income for participating farmers.

Tongwei, whose primary business is feed but also operates tilapia farms, included photos of its solar-fitted aquaculture ponds in its document. The photos show rows of solar panels mounted atop poles sunk into its pond beds.

China has been keen to roll out large-scale solar power facilities but Tongwei’s plan will run into complications having to do with the country’s complex land use rules, which allow long-term leases for aquaculture but make land ownership impossible.

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