Chinese firms contributing to global energy transformation: LONGi President Li Zhenguo
Published: Nov 17, 2023 11:45 PM
Li Zhenguo, president of LONGi Photo: Courtesy of LONGi

Li Zhenguo, president of LONGi Photo: Courtesy of LONGi

Chinese firms have made significant contributions in the energy transformation process globally, Li Zhenguo, president of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the 2023 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in San Francisco. He also called for countries to adopt a more open attitude to global trade to accelerate the carbon-neutral process.

In recent years, through continuous technological innovation, Chinese companies have been driving rapid progress and cost reduction in the photovoltaic industry, according to Li.

"This has made photovoltaic power the most affordable energy source in most countries and regions globally today, and it provides strong support for achieving our carbon neutrality goals and accelerating the energy transition," Li said.

LONGi is currently the world's largest manufacturer of solar wafers and solar modules, with one of every four solar modules in use designed and built by the company.

Li said uncertainties in the global geopolitical context are a big challenge for most global companies.

For instance, some countries may use energy independence and energy security as excuses for impeding normal cooperation, and rising pursuit of protectionist trade policies. These trade barriers are a source of concern, as they cause inconvenience and even losses.

"Of course, what we sincerely hope for is that geopolitical tensions do not continue to worsen; ideally, they might even move in a positive direction. This would allow us to focus more calmly and work within a conducive business environment to contribute more to our planet," Li noted.

Li said the firm will also call for a more open approach to global trade, and will continue to strategize the global distribution of production capacity.

And, if "conditions are met," LONGi will also actively carry out industrial layout overseas, Li noted.

Li is a featured speaker at the APEC CEO Summit on November 15. The panel also includes Ferdinand Marcos, president of the Philippines, Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, and Anna Bjerde, managing director for operations of the World Bank. The meeting will focus on the international imperative to bring more global equity to sustainability.

Sustainability is a key focus for this year's APEC conference.

China has accumulated useful experience while striving to achieve its "dual carbon" target, which can also offer lessons for Asia-Pacific countries, the entrepreneur said.

"I believe China has accumulated valuable experience in recent years. China, with its photovoltaic installed capacity constituting roughly 40 percent of the global share, stands out as one of the world's largest users of clean energy. This achievement is a result of policies aimed at encouraging the development of clean energy, which could be highly significant for various countries," Li said.

Li noted that the Chinese government emphasizes a need for balance. The energy transition in China is following a phased approach, prioritizing establishment of the process ahead of disruption. This ensures the security and integrity of the existing energy system while allowing for a swift transition. Striking a necessary balance, the approach avoids being too radical. This can also serve as a valuable example for the global community.