The government in China wants help to install 350,000 solar PV units across the country.BEIJING, China, CN, 2001-05-29 [SolarAccess.com] The government will apply for a grant from the Global Environment Facility toward the cost of its Renewable Energy Development Project. Part of the funding will provide technical assistance services to implement the Photovoltaic Market Development and the Technology Improvement components of the project. The two components will support cost-effective PV technologies to supply electricity in “an environmentally sustainable way” and to provide electricity to dispersed rural homes and institutions. The project will install 10 MWp of PV systems, including wind hybrid systems, to remote areas of six northwestern provinces. The project will also support technology upgrading to improve the performance and reduce the costs of PV technologies in China. Institutional strengthening is an integral part of the project, to remove barriers to market development and commercialization of the technology. An invitation for submission for expressions of interest will be issued in June, following the general procurement notice for the project that appears in the latest issue of the United Nations Development Business (#560, June 16). The State Economic & Trade Commission wants qualified firms and individual consultants to provide a wide array of services required to manage both project components and to provide advisory and support services. The services will be required for a period of five years on a continuous basis or intermittently. Total funding will be US$4.5 million. SETC is looking for expertise in PV technology and balance of systems components design, technology development, manufacturing and product quality improvement, standards development, testing and certification procedures development and implementation (intermittent services from national and international consultants). It also requires knowledge in marketing and sales of PV systems or similar consumer durable goods to rural customers; rural enterprise development; distribution, sales and service networks set up; accounting and business management; technician skills development (intermittent services from international and national consultants). Surveys will be conducted in rural unelectrified areas of Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, Xijiang, Qinghai and Xizang. Consultants will be selected according to World Bank procedures. There is no closing date for submission of this expressions of interest.