Environment Forum

Chinese solar player Yingli looks to score at World Cup

worldcupChinese solar power companies have shone amid the downturn in the solar industry,  converting their low cost advantage into bigger market share and profits.

Now, China’s Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd is making a play to raise its global profile.  It’s taking its solar panels to the world’s biggest sporting event, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and has signed up to help sponsor the event.

The news makes Yingli the first renewable energy company to sponsor the World Cup — where the world’s best football (or soccer for U.S. fans) teams compete —  as well as the first Chinese company to seal a global sponsorship deal with FIFA, the world’s governing body for football.

(The Wold Cup this year, coincidentally, is in South Africa, which announced last year government support for solar akin to solar incentives in Germany, the world’s largest market.)

The move reflects Yingli’s desire to increase its brand awareness. And that could pay off, Piper Jaffray analyst Jesse Pichel says.

Should climate sinners face World Cup ban?

Smoke billows from a power plant as an aircraft flies by in Qingdao, Shandong province, January 12, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer (CHINA)Among suggestions for slowing global warming it may be the most radical — countries failing to keep promises to curb emissions should not be allowed to send a soccer team to the World Cup.

June 2-13 talks in Bonn on a new deal to widen the Kyoto Protocol after  a first period ends in 2012 are ending on Friday with few agreements and many criticisms about a lack of progress.

But how do you focus delegations’ minds and get countries to do more to curb greenhouse gas emissions? U.N. reports last year warning the world of rising temperatures, droughts, rising seas and other risks in coming decades have not fully done the trick.