Solar Powers Makes Mainland China’s Richest Man
Solar Energy Powers Mainland China’s Richest Man
October 12, 2006
The largest private fortune in mainland China may belong to Shi Zhengrong, the founder of the China’s largest producer of photovoltaic equipment used to convert sunlight into electricity, according to an article in today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal.
Solar power on a yurt on western China. Shi Zhengrong tops the list of China’s richest people according to the Chinese-language New Fortune magazine.
Zhengrong’s stake in Suntech Power Holdings, the solar firm he founded in 2001, is worth around $1.7 billion according the Journal. The firm, which is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has seen explosive growth thanks to booming international demand for solar power.
While the solar energy market in China is currently small, Suntech is well positioned to benefit from the government’s interest in renewable energy technologies. The Chinese government, which is increasingly concerned with the environmental and human health costs of rapid economic growth, has recently set ambitious renewable energy targets — calling for a three-fold increase in power generation from renewable energy sources by 2012 and invested billions in renewable energy technologies including wind, solar, and biofuels.
Coal to oil conversion gaining interest in China, U.S. High oil prices are spawning greater interest in technologies that convert coal into liquid fuel, according to an article published yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, but the shift could have a significant impact on the environment. Heightened tensions in the Middle East combined with booming demand and political instability in other regions have put a premium on crude oil and forced China and the United States — the world’s largest energy gluttons — to look towards secure sources of fuel. Both countries are coal-rich but petroleum-poor.
Solar power in Xinjiang, western China.
Renewable energy in China, a strategic future? With a host of environmental and domestic social concerns — and potential future international conflict — China could be well suited to pursue renewable energy sources. China’s failed bid for American petroleum firm Unocal may prompt it to further focus on its development of alternative energy sources. While China has been actively investing in exploration and development operations in Africa, South America, and other parts of Asia over the past five years, China has also significantly expanded its interests in renewable energy sources including wind, solar, biofuels, tidal, and small hydroelectric dams.
This article used information from past mongabay.com articles and Andrew Batson’s “For Chinese Tycoon, Solar Power Fuels Overnight Wealth” which appeared in the The Wall Street Journal on October 12, 2006