In China it's not unusual to see private residents to make the move to solar power. Like in any country the initial expense is high, but putting a few solar panels on your roof will pay off in the long run. It's good for you and it's good for the environment. Everybody wins, right?
Solar panels strictly forbidden
Not so fast, skippy. One neighborhood in Hebei, China has somehow come to the conclusion that neat and tidy rooftops are more important that clean energy. Never mind global warming or the economic crisis. City beautification seems to be the top priority.
An official public notice (later posted online) stated the following:
"According to the comprehensive demands of the 'three years of change' and the beautification of scenery in the area, solar panels are strictly forbidden on rooftops. The resident will take responsibility for the financial damage incurred if they do not comply with this rule. The panels that are already in place must be taken down within three days. Otherwise punishment according to damages to public facilities will be enforced." Danwei
The town is currently undergoing a 'sloping roof' renovation project and it looks as though there will be no solar panel installations allowed after it is completed. While their roofs might look really spiffy, this kind of policy certainly does not reflect well on China's environmental efforts.
Is this somehow related to the Chinese cultural notion of "face" and keeping up a good outwardly appearance despite a possible lack of inner substance? And if so, how does it affect innovation and progress in China?