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Feature: Chinese solar equipments to light up Rio 2016 Olympics


RIO DE JANEIRO, (Xinhua) -- Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro of Brazil, where the 2014 World Cup final was held, will be back into the spotlight at Rio 2016 Olympic Games, powered by Chinese solar equipments.

Originally built for the 1950 World Cup Brazil, the Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho, better known as the Maracana, will host the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the soccer matches of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Produced by Chinese solar power company Yingli Solar, the world 's largest solar panel manufacturer, and installed in 2014, the 1, 556 solar panels encircling the metal roof of the stadium will continue to power the coming Rio 2016.


"All the panels have at least 25 years of service life," Jeffrey Barnett, vice president of International Sales at Yingli Green Energy Americas told Xinhua on Sunday.

According to Yingli, the 390 kilowatt (KW) system, which has been providing green power to this iconic stadium since the 2014 World Cup, can reduce 2,560 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

This echoes with Brazil's determination to hold an environment- friendly Olympics and set an example of sustainability.

"We aim to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions and hold a low- carbon Olympics, leaving a green legacy for Brazil," said Tania Braga, the Rio 2016 Committee Head of Sustainability, Accessibility and Legacy.

"Sustainability does not include additional costs ... it helps being more efficient and then it reduces costs," Braga said.

Yingli solar panels' 25-year-warranty means long term generation of clean electricity in returns on one-time investment, said Barnett, which is a vivid footnote to sustainability.

"The success in Maracana project was a fantastic brand building case and a milestone to Yingli's development in Latin America, since we established our first office in this region in Sao Paulo in 2011," said Barnett.

In addition to the Maracana, Yingli also installed one megawatt (MW) solar panels to deliver clean electricity to Arena Pernambuco, in the Western suburbs of the Recife metropolitan area. This project generates 1,500 MWh of electricity every year, enough for 6,000 Brazilians' annual electricity consumption.

In addition to the big projects, Yingli is also promoting solar systems suitable for residential and business buildings, bringing clean energy to people's life, said Barnett, adding that Yingli has expanded its business in more than 20 countries in Latin America during the past years, and Brazil is one of the most important, along with Chile and Mexico. The company will further boost performance in this region in the coming years, by building a larger and stronger team.


Brazil's geological features, energy structures, and recent water crisis also provide new opportunities to solar power.

Brazil's southeast region, where most of the country's hydroelectric power plants are located, is suffering from a dry season. As the country depends largely on hydropower, which accounts for 70 percent of its total electricity generation capacity, a water crisis stimulates more demand from other recourses.

On the other hand, Brazil also enjoys sufficient sunshine, huge demand for electricity and a tradition of using clean energies, making it an attractive market for China's solar equipment manufacturers, which are producing over 60 percent solar panels in the world.

According to a report by GTM Research, a market analysis institute on green energy based in Boston, U.S., the Latin American region installed 625 MW of solar photovoltaics (PV) in 2014, a 370 percent increase in annual growth over 2013, led by Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

Yingli is not the only Chinese company targeting the green energy potential of the biggest economy in Latin American.

BYD, China's electric vehicle and solar panel manufacturer, has entered this market with its electric vehicles. It will open its first factory in Brazil this year, to produce batteries, solar panels and assemble electric buses with imported parts.

Several Brazilian cities have been testing BYD's electric buses. So when its first factory is operational in the second half of 2015, it will already have customers.

"The negotiations with Rio are advanced for a relatively large fleet, to attend to a request of the city government, which wants to reduce carbon emissions, make improvements for the Olympic Games," said Adalberto Maluf Filho, BYD's director of Marketing and Governmental Affairs for Brazil. "We expect to be able to provide a large fleet by early 2016, in time for the Olympic Games. "



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