Yingli to be Renewable Energy Partner with U.S. Soccer
Soccer—or ‘football’ as the rest of the world calls it—is gaining respect in the United States as both the men’s and women’s national teams have made tremendous World Cup showings in recent years. Now, Chinese solar power company Yingli Green Energy wants in on the action and plans to become the first renewable energy partner of U.S. Soccer for the U.S. Men’s, Women’s and Youth National teams.
The agreement between Yingli and U.S. soccer is scheduled to last through the end of 2014, although financial terms have not been disclosed. The partnership will officially launch on August 10 when the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team plays Mexico in Philadelphia.
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“Soccer is the world’s most popular game and we are extremely excited to be partnering with U.S. Soccer, an organization that has achieved tremendous success and similar global recognition in recent years,” says Robert Petrina, managing director of Yingli Green Energy subsidiary Yingli Americas, said in a statement. “We consider this association to be the best platform for building solar energy awareness across the country. We recently announced that we are on track to capture 15% of the North American solar market in 2011, and today we’re reinforcing our commitment to build a lasting brand and a recognizable local level.”
Considering that China pretty much owns the U.S. anyway, this partnership seems like a logical move. Just as the U.S. begins making its mark internationally in a sport that it has been slow to embrace, China comes in to dominate investment, just like it has with pretty much every other sector in the country. The partnership is a smart way for Yingli Green Energy to come in and take over the U.S. solar market, using America’s newfound love for soccer as a catalyst. However, I’m not seeing any U.S. solar companies waiting in line to invest in the sport, so perhaps it’s just as well that Chinese firms bring money into the country. After all, with the economy in shambles, it may just be our debt holders—the Chinese—who see us through… again.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.