Expanding International Market
As well as maintaining a reputation for cutting-edge technology, ENN's performance is also impressive in terms of its expansion into overseas markets. Its progressive business model and innovative technology have been a solid base from which to launch its global ventures, and it has explored new ways for China's new energy enterprises to break into the global market.
As early as May 2001, ENN Energy Holdings Ltd. was listed on the growth enterprise market of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In 2002, the public company made it onto the main board, which meant that its access to finances broadened significantly. The same year, ENN Group raised money from eight Asian, American and European banks in order to exploit gas projects. Some people regard this as the starting point of ENN's global strategy, providing ENN with the cash to undertake market expansion.
ENN Solar Energy has been developing its overseas market since 2009. It currently has networks covering Asia, North America, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, and has undertaken dozens of power plant projects in the U.S., Germany and Italy.
ENN's expansion overseas, however, has been focused on the U.S. In September 2009, ENN Group signed a cooperative agreement with Duke Energy, one of the largest electrical power holding companies in the U.S., at the Clinton Global Initiative's Annual Meeting. With the aim of accelerating technological development of low-carbon and clean energy, both sides benefited by drawing from each other's experience garnered from their diverse activities in the energy sector.
One month later, they established a cooperative partnership, combining Duke's extensive market resources with ENN's world-leading technology in silicon-based thin film solar module and system integration to develop photovoltaic power stations and building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).
ENN and Duke embarked upon further cooperation in January 2011 after Duke showed great interest in ENN's system energy efficiency theory and smart energy network. "The U.S. and China have a shared vision about the future of clean energy – better environment, healthier life and happy work," said Jim Rogers, president and CEO of Duke Energy, when discussing the company's cooperation with ENN. Even before prior consultation, Duke's "redefinition of energy" and ENN's "new normality of energy" bore close resemblance to one another.
That June, ENN Group, Duke Energy and the governments of Langfang and Charlotte, North Carolina, entered into a cooperative contract that saw ENN move further into the North American market, and with last February's contract ENN's presence in the U.S. is set to expand.
Strengthening International Cooperation
In recent years, the global activities of China's new energy enterprises such as ENN have been increasing in scale. However, with this growth comes inevitable friction and disagreements on trade. Late last year, the U.S. and China became embroiled in a dispute over photovoltaic cells as the U.S. announced investigations into alleged illegal dumping and subsidy, while in Germany a number of solar energy companies have laid part of the blame for their bankruptcy on China.
Some market analysts claim that the U.S. investigations have no hope of blocking the global distribution of China's new energy products. On the contrary, in forcing Chinese enterprises to avoid trade barriers by setting up factories and research centers in the U.S. they are in fact driving them to increase their international presence.
Several well-known Chinese new energy companies have invested in the U.S. In early 2011, LDK Solar bought a 70 percent interest in Solar Power, but many of the aforementioned companies invest in job creating ventures.
"Merger and acquisition is only one method for Chinese enterprises to go global," said Wang Yusuo. "Managers should think as entrepreneurs, who not only provide employment opportunities and achieve revenue, but also reduce trade frictions."
Phoenix, Arizona, now boasts a US $10 million solar cell production plant courtesy of Suntech Power, while in Illinois you can find a US $200 million 110-megawatt wind power station built by Goldwind Science & Technology. At the same time, ENN Group has helped local governments to bring the same green electric power, green manufacturing and smart ecology that ENN previously applied in Shanghai, and Hebei and Hunan provinces to American cities in order to save energy and reduce emissions. This decade-long project is projected to create thousands of employment opportunities.
Wang hopes that foreign governments will greet Chinese enterprises with an open market and fair policy, and help them to achieve long-term development like that of GE and IBM in China.
"If one day ENN's clean energy integrated solution can be accessible to people all around the world, the effective use of clean energy will go further, which is of great importance to ENN's future," said Wang. Achieving global technological cooperation in clean energy is Wang's dream. He hopes it will achieve global emission reduction targets.
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