27 March 2007 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on Sunday inaugurated a major solar technology project in Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China’s Gansu Province.
The project of UNIDO International Centre for the Promotion and Transfer of Solar Energy Technology aims primarily to promote the exchange of solar technology and enhance international cooperation among developing countries in the field, by providing an information exchange platform and relevant training programmes, said UNIDO Director-General Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella.
At the ceremony for the unveiling of the project, Yumkella praised China’s efforts and achievements on solar energy research and application. He said that the solar project under construction in Lanzhou “will make a valuable contribution” to the international development of solar energy, and “enhance technology transfer between China and developing countries, thus contributing to increased cooperation among developing countries, a priority of both the Chinese government and UNIDO.”
Gansu Province, with abundant solar resources, is leading the research, development and application of solar energy technology in China. Xu Shousheng, vice governor of Gansu, said that the province will spare no efforts to support the UNIDO solar project and push forward the global application of solar energy, especially in developing countries.
The Chinese government is set to invest 150m yuan ($18.5m) in the project, according to the agreement made between the UNIDO and the Chinese government last December. The solar technology centre will be established on the basis of the Gansu Natural Energy Research Institute (Asia-Pacific Solar Energy Research and Training Centre), which was the earliest and world-renowned solar energy research institute in China. The centre will be in use in two years.
Under the Renewable Energy Law passed by China’s top legislature, the National People’s Congress in February 2005, the country regards renewable energy, including solar energy, as a critical part of its energy strategy. Renewable energy will account for over ten per cent of China’s total volume of primary energy consumption by 2020, with solar energy being the largest component second only to hydroelectric power.