Sunday, February 15, 2009

Suntech's Shi Zhengrong

From being the son of a dirt-poor Chinese peasant, Shi has built one of the world's biggest solar power companies, Suntech. He learnt his stuff at the University of NSW. Suntech is threatened somewhat by the global financial crisis and by entry from competitors but still a great force.  This Fortune article is a fascinating story and a good illustration of how the market can help to tackle climate change issues.

Shi was (and perhaps still is) China's richest man. He holds an Aussi passport but lives in China - its a pity we could not hold him more firml;y here. However he is making financial contributions to Australia's underfunded solar program and initiating developments of solar power in Australia.


Anonymous said...

"He learnt his stuff at the University of NSW"

Maybe he learnt how to make solar cells there, but surely his most important contribution was turning Suntech into what it is today. The guy is evidentally good at lots of things.

Anonymous said...

Earlier article on Dr Shi at

Interestingly, he was unable to use the thin film technology at Suntech that he helped develop at UNSW, and started in China with second hand equipment that he bought cheaply from the US and a long term contract for supply of silicon at a favourable price.