Solar energy visionary wins ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’

One of the world’s leading solar entrepreneurs and proponents of renewable energy has been awarded the Right Livelihood Award for 2011, often referred to as the “alternative Nobel Prize.”

China’s Huang Ming received the 2011 Honorary Award for “outstanding success in the development and mass-deployment of cutting-edge technologies for harnessing solar energy,” and combating anthropogenic climate change. It is the first time the award has been presented to China.

Presented each year in Stockholm, the Right Livelihood Awards were created in 1980 as an alternative to the Nobel Prize by Jakob von Uexkull, a Swedish journalist who felt the Nobel failed to adequately recognise the efforts of individuals fighting on the ground against the pollution of air, soil and water, the danger of nuclear war and the abuse of basic human rights.

Huang Ming is the founder of the Himin Solar Energy Group, a global leader in solar thermal innovation and technology. The company has an annual production capacity of three million water heaters, 20 million evacuated tubes, and 50MW of photovoltaic products.

He established the Himin Solar Valley in Dezhou, China. A virtual corporate city, the Solar Valley is home to three vacuum tube factories, three solar hot water factories, an office and hotel complex, a solar university, a sport and entertainment complex and parks and apartments.

But it was Ming’s philosophy of spreading the renewable energy message throughout China that caught the eyes of the Right Livelihood Award jury. Not just a businessman, he served in parliament, and was instrumental in drafting China’s 2005 Renewable Energy Law.

In a quote on the Awards website, Ming says: “I have a dream that one day my entire country fellows, even the global citizens, know about solar energy and make full use of it … that one day the sky will be much bluer, the water will be more limpid; our homeland will be full of sunshine, tranquil with no war.”

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