Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hongkong Electric completes 1st mainland wind farm project

Dec. 9, 2008 (China Knowledge) - Hongkong Electric Holdings Ltd (HEH)<6>, an electricity operator controlled by Hong Kong business giant Li Ka-shing, announced on Tuesday it has completed its first wind farm project on the mainland and expected to commence commercial operation early next year, sources reported.

According to the report, the 48-megawatt Yunnan project with a total investment of RMB 500 million is a joint venture utility, in which Hongkong Electric owns a 45% stake while mainland power producer Huaneng New Energy Industrial holds the rest.

The wind farm, along with another one in Hebei province, was bought by the Hong Kong electricity operator this year, marking its first investments on the mainland to capitalize on the country's rising demand for renewable energy, China Knowledge reported earlier.

Hongkong Electric said the projects were awarded with government incentives, including priority in the purchase of power generated from the windmills, tax exemptions on construction work and value-added tax rebates on machinery, adding both projects were qualified with global environmental standard for cutting emission of greenhouse gas.

The investment would enable Hongkong Electric to take a bite of the nascent but massive renewable energy market, amid a looming government-ordered cut in the rate of return from supplying electricity to its local market, according to analysts.

Chinese PV pioneer helps build Israel's biggest solar power station

www.chinaview.cn 2008-12-09 06:27:49

KATSRIN, Israel, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Israel's biggest solar power station was inaugurated on Monday in this Israeli northern town, setting up a landmark in the Chinese-Israeli cooperation in the field of clean energy.

The 50 KW rooftop project, estimated to generate 85,000 KWH a year, was co-built by China's Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd., a world-leading solar energy company, mainly specialized in photovoltaic (PV) power generation technologies, and Solarit Doral, a major local player in Israel's renewable energy market.

Dubbed the biggest and most efficient of its kind so far in Israel, the solar power station is integrated into Israel's national grid, as the Jewish state has been carrying out incentive measures to prod the development of alternative energy, including purchasing cleanly generated electricity at a relatively higher price.

Highlighting the urgent need to find alternative resources to power the world and protect the environment, Zhao Jun, Chinese ambassador to Israel, said at the ceremony that China has been investing heavily in alternative energy, and shares great cooperation potentials with Israel in relevant respects.

"It is very appropriate and natural for Chinese and Israeli companies to work together on this," he told Israeli National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and local officials.

Ben-Eliezer, whose ministry has unveiled an ambitious plan to produce 20 percent of its electricity through renewable resources by 2020, stressed that Israeli government pays high attention to the development of clean energy, and noted that Israel and China should deepen cooperation in commonly-interested fields, particularly water resources and renewable energy.

Meanwhile, representatives from Suntech, a listed company in New York Stock Exchange, said that the company is planning with its Israeli counterpart to construct a larger solar power plant in southern Israel.

Editor: Sun

ReneSola Announces Divestment of Henan Polysilicon Joint Venture

JIASHAN, China, Dec 08, 2008 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- ReneSola Ltd ("ReneSola" or the "Company") , a leading Chinese manufacturer of solar wafers, today announced that it has sold its 49% equity interest (the "Divestment") in Linzhou Zhongsheng Semiconductor Silicon Material Co., Ltd. (the "Joint Venture").

In August 2007, ReneSola and Linzhou Zhongsheng Steel Co., Ltd. ("Zhongsheng Steel") established the Joint Venture to engage in virgin polysilicon production in Linzhou, Henan Province, China. The Company invested approximately RMB103 million for an equity interest of 49% in the Joint Venture. In June 2008, the Company and Zhongsheng Steel amended the commercial arrangement in the joint venture contract to reduce the contracted obligation of the Company to purchase the output of the Joint Venture from 90% to a minimum of 55% at market price with a term of three years, instead of 30 years in the original agreement.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2008, the Joint Venture recorded revenues of RMB266 million and a net profit of approximately RMB131 million. Prior to the Divestment ReneSola equity accounted for its interest in the Joint Venture. In the three months ended September 30, 2008, the Company's equity interest in the earnings of the Joint Venture was US$5.2 million.

The Company has sold its 49% equity interest in the Joint Venture to Zhongsheng Steel for a total consideration of RMB200 million, represented by cash paid on completion of RMB44 million and either a credit of RMB156 million through a discount of RMB500/kg to the polysilicon spot price for future supplies or cash in the amount of RMB156 million.

"As part of our ongoing evaluation of our raw material sourcing strategy for 2009 we have determined it is in the best interests of our shareholders to divest our equity interest in the Henan polysilicon production facility," said Mr. Xianshou Li, ReneSola's chief executive officer.
Mr. Li continued, "The Linzhou facility will continue to provide us with polysilicon at a discounted price until the RMB156 million is fully credited. Our existing polysilicon purchase contracts, combined with the additional production from our Sichuan polysilicon plant and the Linzhou facility and expected tolling arrangements, should fully support our required feedstock for our 2009 wafer production output."

About ReneSola

ReneSola Ltd ("ReneSola") is a leading global manufacturer of solar wafers based in China. Capitalizing on proprietary technologies and technical know- how, ReneSola manufactures monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar wafers. In addition, ReneSola strives to enhance its competitiveness through upstream integration into virgin polysilicon manufacturing. ReneSola possesses a global network of suppliers and customers that include some of the leading global manufacturers of solar cells and modules. ReneSola's shares are currently traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. For more information about ReneSola, please visit http://www.renesola.com .

China's solar PV sector faces uncertainty

BEIJING, Dec 08, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The growth pace of China's new energy industry is seriously dented by oil price slump and demand shrinkage due to the global financial crisis, according to analysts.

Zhou Tao, analyst with Greatwall Securities, said that solar photovoltaic industry suffers adverse impact on demand shrinkage of solar cells from Western countries and losses from Euro depreciation.

Xiong Lin, analyst with China Jianyin Investment Securities, said that a number of small-sized module producers have gone bankruptcy in East China's Jiangsu Province as a result of lacking capital and order cut.

Xiong said that solar energy industry would demonstrate an obvious trend of integration and increased market concentration in addition to uncertain market situation and order amount in 2009 for SunTech Power Holdings Limited (STP.NYSE).

Xiong predicted that China's solar cell module producers would see a five-percent drop of gross profit margin, taking in consideration of order, exchange rate and other factors.

It's widely accepted that investment in new energy sector will get restrained due to oil price drop, and substitution value of new energy will get slashed resulting from coal price slides.

In the long run, new energy will continue to have bright prospectus in term of its value in environmental protection, according to Xiong.

The power generating cost of solar photovoltaic electricity will be in line with the power generating cost of traditional energy in 2030, according to a report in early 2008 by China Jianyin Investment Securities.

Xiong said that it's hard to judge when solar electricity power cost comes in line with the cost of traditional power generation in the near term, with expectation-beating technological improvement in polycrystalline silicon as well as oil price tumble.

Earlier, Chang Xiaofeng, chairman and CEO of LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (LDK.NYSE), predicted that solar power cost probably would drop to one yuan per kilowatt within two to three year thanks to raw material price decreases.

Yu Yingyi, analyst with Pacific Securities, said that governments at various levels would support the development of solar PV industry in the long term in consideration of energy security and environmental protection.

Yu is optimistic about the long-term demand of solar energy products.

China's largest grid-connected solar power photovoltaic power station starts construction

December 08, 2008

Kunming Shilin large-scale experiment demonstration power station formally started construction on December 6. With a total installed capacity of 166 megawatts, the power station will be the largest experiment demonstration grid-connected solar photovoltaic power station in China.

The power station, which required a total investment of 9.1 billion yuan, is located in the town of Shilin in Kunming Shilin Yi Autonomous County.

The project is divided into two parts: the popular science zone, and the experiment demonstration zone.

The popular science zone covers a total area of 2002.2 mu, with an installed capacity of 66 megawatts and an annual average generating capacity of 77.0389 million kilowatt hours. The experiment demonstration zone occupies a total area of 3649.35 mu, with an installed capacity of 100 megawatts and an annual average generating capacity of 118.285 million kilowatt hours.By People's Daily Online

More than 50% of PV module makers in China stop production, claim sources

Staff reporter, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES [Monday 8 December 2008]

There were originally about 350 photovoltaic (PV) module makers in China, but approximately 200 of them have stopped production or shut down since two months ago, according to PV industry sources in Taiwan.

These makers have been forced to go out of business by financial troubles arising from the global financial crisis and decreased global demand for PV modules, the sources indicated.

Makers of crystalline silicon solar cells in China generally have high inventory levels that are unlikely to be cleaned in a quarter, the sources said. Some China makers of solar cells have offered spot market prices of as low as US$2.1-2.5/watt in an attempt to reduce inventories, while the spot market prices quoted by Taiwan-based competitors stand at US$2.6-2.7 currently, the sources noted.