Bloomberg recently published an article saying China had stepped up production of solar panels. It needs to …
China is one of the most polluted countries in the world. The air in cities like Beijing is unbreathable for most of the year. Thick smog hangs across all of the major cities like a blanket of poison.
Smog is made up of microscopic particles – PM 2.5 and PM 10 – which are breathed in, and then find their way into the lung cavities and major organs of the body; poisoning them and causing respiratory problems, strokes, lung cancer, premature heart attacks, pulmonary embolisms and a host of other long-term health issues.
Over 1 million people died in China, in 2012 – the last year for which figures have been released by the Chinese government – as a direct result of heavily polluted air. Heavy metals and other contaminants are believed to be the main culprits.
In 2016 China was believed to be responsible for fully one third of the world’s total carbon emissions. This was due to its practices of burning coal and other heavily polluting fossil fuels.
The Chinese government turned its head away for years from this problem. It refused to acknowledge anything was wrong. Increasing pressure from countries around the world for China to get a handle on its emissions record finally seems to be paying off after years of cajoling.
Let’s make more panels …
China’s investment in renewable energy – particularly solar panels – is now soaring.
Last year, solar energy production throughout the country more than doubled. China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) reported an additional increase of 34.54 gigawatts – taking China’s total solar capacity to 77.42 gigawatts. This level of growth is astonishing and there seems to be no sign of it diminishing any time soon.
$361 billion is earmarked for renewable power generation between now and 2020. China is aiming to produce 110 GW of solar power and 210 GW of wind power by this date. It is well on target to do so.
Connected photovoltaic arrays of solar panels are now a common sight in rural China.
One of the major components in the manufacture of these solar panels is silver. Silver is in heavy demand in China – and not just for this reason – it is also used in catalytic converters, which go some way to alleviating the worst effects of car exhaust emissions.
Electric cars, too, need silver in some components, as it is the most conductive metal known to man. It’s use in electronics has been a staple of the industry for decades. Silver solder is used on electronic circuit boards and in wiring.
This demand for silver is not just confined to China either. Worldwide, the Paris Agreement, a treaty between 145 countries committing them to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, comes into force in 2020.
This will lead to an even greater need for silver in solar panels and other important climate change technology. This requirement can only increase as the world’s population uses more energy. Greener technology is necessary to balance the energy demand and the emissions controls that result.
The thing is, that unlike gold, silver is usually extracted as a byproduct of mining operations for copper, and some other metals like lead and zinc. This means when the price of such metals fall, less is mined – and as a result – less silver is extracted.
Copper accounts for the lion’s share of silver extracted, and because this price has been falling over the past five years, mining operations for copper have been scaled back – or in some cases stopped altogether.
This impacts silver – less supply but higher demand leads to higher prices. This is what we predict for 2017 looking forward.
The chart below shows the silver price over the last 20 years. It can be seen from the chart that the price has started to rise since November 2015. Because of the massive usage of silver and its increasing utility value to industrial applications, we see this as the beginning of a new upward trend, and think silver is currently underpriced.
As you can see – there has never been a better time to look more closely at the possibility of investing in a silver – either as silver coin, silver bullion, or as a silver IRA, or silver 401(k) rollover.
Noble Gold have a selection of products to suit every type of investor – and we are more than happy to speak to those wanting to find out more about silver.
Join thousands of clients who have invested in this affordable alternative to gold and discovered how you can harness the power of solar panels to make your families future more secure. Our free Gold & Silver Investment Guide has everything you need to know about the benefits of adding precious metals to your portfolio.