A partnership between a Chinese solar module manufacturer and a UK solar installer valued at about 400 million British pounds was recently announced. The Chinese manufacturer, ZNShine, will manage the capital that will be provided by state banks in China. The UK installer, Map Environmental, will submit clean energy projects to them for consideration. If approved for investment, Map Environmental will develop them and retain a 50% stake when the projects are completed.
“Our focus is on commercial rooftops, ground-mounted sites and social housing. We have a decent foot hold in the new-build market and operate a consumer-based sign-up though our partnership with [real estate firm] Savills. The £400 million is not specifically earmarked for one industry and will be spent across the spectrum,” explained Map marketing
manager Ross Gard. Altogether, the projects comprise a 400 MW solar pipeline.
The partnership could create as many as 550 jobs in the UK and is part of a much larger trade and investment package that has been valued at about 14 billion pounds. The news jobs will likely been in areas such as operations, construction and administration. The ZnShine and Map Environmental agreement is the largest solar international collaboration for the UK.
“We are proud to be cooperating with a valuable partner in supporting the U.K.’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint,” said ZNShine Solar’s general manager, William Wang.
“There has been more investment into the UK from China in the last 18 months than in the previous 30 years. Our country’s brand is recognised around the world and the Chinese have an appetite for high quality British goods and services,” remarked UK Business Secretary Vince Cable.
Last year, Cable went on the record to support a waste-to-energy plant in London. In 2012, he supported a new kind of bank focused on investing in projects such as renewable energy and industrial waste.
ZNShine has production facilities in Japan and South Africa and China. They produce a variety of solar modules.
The UK could become Europe’s largest market for PV solar in 2014.