Zhongli Group innovated into agriculture and car batteries


Wang Baixing , Chairman of Zhongli Group (Photo: CGTN)

China’s new rules on investments and subsidies for solar panels cause concerns for many solar companies, which are lobbying for a rethink of the subsidy cut.

However, one company started preparing for policy changes a few years ago. Zhongli Group’s Chairman, Wang Baixing, said that they are now innovating into agriculture and car batteries.  

“Two years ago I asked the Energy Administration to give me quotas in central and eastern China, and if we could get 3,000-5,000 yuan of annual revenues from solar plus farming, I wouldn't need subsidies,” said Wang.

Zhongli Group brought out the impoverished villages' solar farms in 2016. The company spent five billion yuan to build 43 of these village solar farms.

“This is very innovative. Because our farmland is so scarce, usually you can't get land for solar power, so we used salt marshes and wasteland,” Wang said.

Meanwhile, Zhongli Group is rolling solar plus agriculture out to Belt and Road countries, as it has a lot of interest from overseas. Wang said they are building plants and cooperate with countries including Argentina, Thailand and Japan.

Other than agriculture, Zhongli Group also aims for new energy vehicle batteries, as Wang believes that technology and scale in this sector are in demand.

Even though the industry has had 80 percent excess capacity since three years ago, I think those in the top five for technology and scales are very much in demand,” said Wang, “this industry has a very high entry barrier.”

Moreover, Wang also mentioned technology development of electronics and new energy auto. The chairman said that Zhongli Group will continue to improve the technology of solar panels, no matter how the policy is changing.