Shell Sets Up Solar in China

More than 75,000 homes in China will be equipped with solar electric systems over the next five years.

LONDON, England, UK, 2001-07-17 [] More than 75,000 homes in China will be equipped with solar electric systems over the next five years. Shell Renewables has signed an agreement with the Sun Oasis Company in Beijing to supply PV systems in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of western China. The project is supported by a grant of US$15 million from the Dutch government and is part of the Chinese ‘Brightness Program’ to bring electricity to remote communities. “This project demonstrates yet again that solar power is starting to provide a solution for some of the two billion people in remote areas who have little chance of ever getting grid power,” says Philippe De Renzy-Martin, chief operating officer Shell Solar. “It is a big potential market that with the right product packages, and support where necessary, is going to account for an increasing part of our solar business.” Shell Renewables wants to become a major player in the solar market around the world and has established a joint venture with Siemens Solar. The company predicts that 10 percent of its solar sales will be in rural markets. Last month, Shell said it would spend up to$1 billion on renewable energy programs over the next five years. The group’s existing five-year $500 million spending plan for renewables is due to end in late 2002. The Xinjiang project is Shell’s first renewable energy project in China, and builds on its rural electrification activities in South Africa, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and India. Sun Oasis will market, install and maintain the PV home systems, which will be supplied by Shell. The oil company will also provide technical and management assistance. More than 10,000 homes in Xinjiang have been equipped with solar systems in the past decade. China obtains three-quarters of its electricity from coal.
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