Huang Ming

(2011, China)
Honorary Award

...for his outstanding success in the development and mass-deployment of cutting-edge technologies for harnessing solar energy, thereby showing how dynamic emerging economies can contribute to resolving the global crisis of anthropogenic climate change.


Huang Ming is a visionary, dedicated, and passionate entrepreneur and change-maker in the field of solar thermal energy. He set up the Solar Valley in Dezhou as a national and global example for solar as a realistic alternative to fossil and nuclear energy and rising CO2 emissions. In 2005, Huang Ming was instrumental in getting the Renewable Energy Law passed in China, thus building a strong case for his country to take a leading role in preventing growing climate chaos.

Contact Details

Himin Solar Co., Ltd.
Sun-Moon Mansion
China Solar Valley
Economic Development Zone
Dezhou City 253000
Shandong Province


Huang Ming was born on March 10th 1958. He worked as an engineer at the Petroleum Research Institute of Dezhou. After the birth of his daughter, he became worried about the living environment of her and other children because of the pollution. He started his career in the solar energy field secretly, without quitting his job at the institute, because he needed to fund his initial solar research by his salary. 

A global solar entrepreneur

Today, Huang Ming is among the world leaders in solar thermal energy. He established and runs Himin Solar in Dezhou City. Himin's uniqueness is not just in technology innovation and affordability of its products, but in its massive application and its demonstration in Dezhou's Solar Valley.

The Solar Valley in Dezhou is one of the world's largest solar city development projects. It includes three vacuum tube factories, three water heater factories, an office and hotel complex, a solar university, a sports and entertainment complex, parks and apartments. The Solar Valley is meant to bring together developers, city planners, school directors, hospital directors, and to set a nation-wide and global example of solar power as a viable solution. It receives 1500-4000 visitors a day. Thanks to the Solar Valley, Dezhou City has won the accolade of China Solar City. 

Huang Ming is an inventor and developer, a visionary and missionary, a manufacturer and entrepreneur all in one person. Despite his immense success and achievements, he has remained a modest person, speaking openly about shortcomings and areas where he sees need for improvement, but also about the fear that the speed of substituting fossil fuels with renewables is too slow and that not enough countries and businesses will follow suit.


Huang Ming is passionate to teach the world that solar is the solution, that nuclear has to be stopped and that China could become a low or even zero carbon society. His goal is to make solar systems popular in China and to make sure all heating and cooling in China is done with solar energy. Huang Ming believes that business has a lot to offer and to contribute to the transition to a sustainable future. Regulations, he says, can help to encourage the implementation of renewables, but the people have to act as well. Huang Ming's motto is "For the blue sky and white clouds of later generations, use the qualified products to promote the energy substitution".

The Renewable Energy Law

Huang Ming has served on the 10th and 11th Peoples Congress (China's Parliament). He drafted the Law on Renewable Energy and united other representatives in support of it. The Renewable Energy Law was passed in 2005 and took effect in 2006, a substantial achievement that echoed globally.

Raising awareness & training

Huang Ming started giving lectures all over the country already in the 1990s in order to raise public awareness, and organised demonstrations on town squares to inform people more directly about solar energy products. He gives lectures to entrepreneurs and managers and is regularly invited to various Asian universities. 

In 2006, a school was built in the Solar Valley. The idea for the school originated in the fact that there were 1 million workers in the solar energy sector, but that there was no facility to train them and no civil engineers were specialised in that field. Today, the school's 2000 students are educated in solar energy products, engineering and business. Most of them study free of charge. A majority of the students comes from remote areas.

Huang Ming and his Himin Solar have received several awards, and Huang Ming has been invited as a speaker to high level UN meetings.

Himin Solar

Huang Ming's Himin produces all-glass vacuum tubes, solar water heaters, PV lighting, solar-thermal high-temperature power generation, and solar architecture. As of 2011, Himin Solar produces 2 million m2 solar thermal heaters every year. In total by 2011, it has produced 10 million m2. 

In 2011, Himin Solar possessed several hundred national patents and had undertaken 132 national projects in total. It owns some of the most advanced technologies, such as vacuum tubes of '3-hi' (high temperature/coldness resistance, high efficiency) and '4-hi' (high self-cleaning added), coated tubes for power generation, solar heating, cooling, sea water desalination, solar architectures, and has set standards for the industry. 

Huang Ming also researches into biomass, and started producing and selling 3-layer windows, which provide better insulation. He also plans to begin offering comprehensive concepts for housing and offices (architecture, insulation, windows, hot water, electricity).


Acceptance speech by Huang Ming

5 December 2011

(Please note that the speech Huang Ming prepared for the award presentation - see below text -  differs from the one he gave at the ceremony - see above video)

Who am I?

A warm thank you to everyone for your great kindness. The Right Livelihood Award, with its focus on environmental issues and sustainable development, represents the global green trends of the future. I feel deeply honoured to be invited here, and to receive the award together with GRAIN, Mrs Gaskin and Ms Moudeina.

Just last month the seven billionth citizen of the world was born. Thirtythree years ago, my teacher at China University of Petroleum, Professor Chen Ruheng, told us that "China's oil reserves will only last for fifty years of extraction." At that time I was thinking that in fifty years I would be retired. But later on, when I had my baby daughter, I realized that in a couple of decades when the oil runs out I will leave this world, but my daughter will have to face a world of cold homes and a polluted environment. Will she then one day point at my gravestone and say "It is all because you used up all the oil?" I was afraid the next generation would put the blame on us, and that is why in 1995 I turned to engaging in the solar energy business, and established the Himin Solar Energy company. Ever since then our vision and effort has been to bring about a world with blue skies and white clouds for our children and grandchildren, through the global transition to renewable energy.

When I first started my business, not many people in China knew about solar water heaters. In 1996, we launched the 'Popular Science Magazine on Solar Energy', which has today been distributed in about 300 million copies. In 1997, we initiated several activities to make solar energy widely known in China, like the information campaigns for a 'popular scientific approach to solar energy', 'service on solar energy equipment', 'environmental protection in hundred cities' and so on. We drove around the large and middle sized cities of China with a banner saying "For the blue skies and white clouds of our children and grandchildren - even if you don't use the products of Himin - you should use solar energy."

Through the efforts of my partners and myself, the Himin Solar Energy Corporation has, during a ten year period, turned more than 200 million Chinese into solar energy consumers, 40 % of them in rural areas. In total, we have distributed 20 million square meters of solar energy collectors, the total amount of saved energy being equivalent to more than 46 million tons of coal, which corresponds to the amount of coal being produced in ten medium sized Chinese coal mines in one year, and it has reduced the pollution emissions with more than 40 million tons.

China has already become the largest global producer and user of solar energy water heating. Solar energy photo-thermal utilization is also the only renewable energy industry in China with independent intellectual property rights. In 2010, the production of solar energy water heaters in China was 49 million square meters, which constituted about 80% of the world total. The annual growth rate of 168 million square meters constitutes about 70% of the world total, and has led to an annual decrease of pollution emissions corresponding to more than 336 million tons. But even with those positive figures the global transition to renewable energy is still an extremely urgent issue.

China currently has an urban population of more than 600 million, and within the near future an additional 200-400 million people from the countryside will move into the cities, thereby causing an immense pressure of growth on the cities. If people in developing countries will adopt the same lifestyle as people in the US and in Europe, the energy supply can not be sustained, and the problem can not be solved solely by solar energy water heaters - heating, refrigeration and desalination and so on, all need to replace the energy used with solar energy, and in all these fields we already have mature technologies.

In 2006, when the China Renewable Energy Law, for which I had led the work in putting forward the motion, was officially launched and implemented, China got a legal basis for the promotion of renewable energy. In 2009, when I was invited to take part in the COP15 in Copenhagen, I launched the concepts of 'micro-emission' and 'global micro-emission strategies' as a way of facing the increasingly serious challenges facing humanity in the fields of environment, climate and energy. To promote these concepts to the whole world, we founded the 'China Solar Valley' in Dezhou, Shandong Province, as a showcase for a micro-emission city, which can be realized in the whole world 50 years from now. The city of Weilai, which was founded through the investment by the Himin group, could become a role model for a micro-emission community globally within 30 years. The nine big centers of the China Solar Valley which integrate production and research could become a role model for industries in the next 100 years!

This year we are further elaborating on the concept of micro emissions, launching Me PAD (Micro Emission Packaged Design), Me Port PAD, Me Camps PAD, Me Farm PAD, Me Hotel PAD, Me Plaza PAD, Me Town PAD and Me Corp PAD. It is an entire set of solutions for a plan to obtain micro emissions, integrating all mature technologies available in clean energy. At the same time, it provides a smart platform for clean energy management of facilities like homes, hotels, parks, factories as well as cities which may manage and increase the usage of clean energy, reaching levels close to zero for energy consumption and emissions, for users in their daily lives as well as in production. This is a completely new way of living for the future, like the example of Weilai city shows, as a model for the 'Me Pad for Home'. This model makes integrated use of clean energy and networking technologies with a focus on solar energy, giving citizens greener, smarter and more comfortable lives.

There is an old Chinese legend called 'Kua Fu chasing the sun'. The main character of the story, Kua Fu, is chasing the sun to protect his family from being burnt by the sunrays, but in the end he dies of thirst. I wouldn't dare to compare myself with Kua Fu, and I also don't believe that I only by myself could save a desperate crisis, so I have made partnerships in Chinese Dezhou; partners, who share the same dream. Dezhou - a minor city which has become a showcase for the entire world, through which we can make our concepts and methods known. We hope we can change people's thoughts, and that the micro-emission concept will be more widely acknowledged. If micro-emission would be implemented in the whole world - what would be left of the energy crisis?

China Solar Valley welcomes everyone of you to come and visit. Thank you everybody!


Interview with Huang Ming on Swedish Television


Interview with Huang Ming at Solar Valley


Interview conducted in September 2011 by Lyndsey Unwin

Does the Himin Group solely deal with solar water heating panels or do you produce electricity generating panels as well? Do you have plans to expand into new areas?

Himin solar not only deal with solar water heating panels but also deal with electricity generating panels, solar thermal power generation, solar air-condition, Solar sea water desalinization, Solar biogas power generation, solar micro-emission solution, HoMe pad home micro-emission packaged design, PV sculptures, PV road lamps, Medn windows & doors, Energy saving glass, and so on, these are all energy-efficient or energy-saving products, Technology innovation is the key point for Himin development. We develop these new products in order to do our best to protect the living environment and change people?s lifestyle.

Have solar water heaters helped to reduce China's emission targets?  Do you think they will help reduce emission targets in the UK? Do you think we need to do more to raise awareness?

The environment-protecting solar energy products are benefit to the promotion of energy-saving and the development of low-carbon economy. For example, the annual output of solar heat water is 30 million square meters 2010, the total preservation area is 150 million square meters. It helps to save around 22.5 million tons standard coals. Himin Solar promotes 20 million square meters of solar water every year, which can save 46 million tons standard coals, it?s equal to the output of ten middle-sized coal mines, reducing pollutant emission is 40million tons.

Do you see opportunities for your company to grow?

Absolutely. Himin Solar grows up every minute. We have strong innovation ability, and the vision ?For the blue sky and white cloud, use qualified products to promote energy substitution? drives us forward. What?s more, the government policies and energy crisis give us the growth opportunities.

The Dezhou Solar Valley is a global example for solar as a realistic energy source. How do you see this expanding and being adopted by other countries? 

Himin Solar proposed the strategy of "Micro-emission Earth" during the 4th ISCC, 9th Sep 2010. It aims to build the model of micro-emission cites via practices, and then copy this model allover the country. Now Himin Solar has built the China Solar Valley-the model of micro-emission cities. The expansion will relax the pressure from energy crisis, global warming, especially it benefits human being.

Are there plans to push the uptake of Solar Valley further and faster in China and/or other countries?

Certainly. China Solar Valley - the model of the global towns in the next 50 years, Utopia Garden - the model of global communities in the next 30 years, have been finished, and now our company plans to build ?another china solar valley? in some big cities such as Nanjing, Qingdao ect. And we will promote the model globally.

How long did it take you to build Solar Valley, how much did it cost to build and how many people live/work there? 

The whole project started from 2005 and with a cost about 2 to 3 billion. Now CSV ? the future valley includes the future industry, R&D center, education and training center, hotel, etc. It is a comprehensive city, there are thousands of people working, studying, living, visiting here every day.

Is China leading the way in investment in renewable energy?

China is leading the way in investment in renewable energy. There are about more than 7000 solar energy factories around the country. What?s more, the government pays more and more attention to the clean energy industry, providing us lots of favorable policies. But the entrepreneurs should be independent without only replying on these policies. 

Is the world moving fast enough to reduce carbon emissions?

We are aware of the energy crisis and we have taken actions to deal with this problem, but the speed is too slow. It?s essential to raise the public awareness.

What challenges do you face? For example, are there enough young people being trained in this field?  Do global companies need to share expertise and work together to develop new technology?

The challenge is that there are not enough specialists in solar energy field. We established the first solar university ? Himin Solar Engineering and Technology University to deal with the shortage for talents. China Solar Valley becomes the  center of education and training, the base of science publication, R&D center. We have trained about 2000 talents for society.

Himin built the testing center in October 1997. It now has 20 labs after the 11-year development. Now there are over 320 regulations for the testing of solar and PV, while there are only 20 national ones and 50 international testing items. 

Himin testing center got the certificate of Chinese National Accreditation Service for conformity Assessment on Jan. 6th 2009, which has the same effect with the national testing center. 

Himin Solar also developes communications in international solar information and technology and cooperates with many institutes in solar research, for example China academy institute and other famous universities overseas such as in Germany, USA, Australia and Spain.

What does the Right Livelihood Award mean to you?

Winning the Right Livelihood Award means a lot to me. We should play an exemplary role in the utilization of renewable energy and take more responsibility to deal with the climate crisis. For the blue sky and white cloud of later generations, we will develop more qualified products to promote energy substitution. And we are happy to help other countries promote the renewable energy public.


Why ''Made in China'' Still Suggests Low Quality in the Economic Observer - Sep. 2013



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