About 100 villagers from a remote Yunnan village in southwest China have access to electricity for the first time, thanks to a Shell Solar electrification project.Shangnanyaoershi, China – June 17, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The Shangnanyaoershi village is the first of 26 villages in Yunnan Province and the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region to be connected to central solar electrification systems under the Shell project. Further systems will be installed and handed over in another 16 Yunnan villages over the next few months. By September, another nine villages in Xinjiang will have been connected. “I believe [solar] electricity will bring opportunities economically and socially to these communities, as well as environment benefits,” Heng Hock Cheng, Country Chair of Shell Companies in China. “For example, in Shangnanyaoershi, villagers have traditionally harvested sap from trees for lantern oil. Solar power has the potential to save time, provide high quality electric lighting at the flip of a switch and relief from associated hazards from oil lanterns.” The 26 villages, which have a total of about 1,300 households, will have a total installed solar power capacity of 200 kW. The project is the pilot phase of a larger solar electrification program under the Chinese Government’s Brightness Program, funded jointly by the Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German state-owned development bank, and China’s Ministry of Finance. Shell Solar is already working in Xinjiang on a separate project, also under the Brightness Programme, to bring electricity to up to 78,000 nomadic households. In China, Shell Solar has also provided cost-effective and reliable solar power solutions for telecommunications, pipeline cathodic protection, water pumping, traffic signaling and grid-connected rooftop systems in more than 50 projects. This adds up more than 5,000 kW of installed solar power.