The founder of Himin Solar, Huang Ming has been named one of the four winners of the 2011 Right Livelihood Awards, known informally as the alternative Nobel prize. According to the Swedish-based foundation that gives the award, he was honored 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.”
A visionary and passionate entrepreneur with close REEEP links, Huang Ming (left) spoke at a REEEP co-sponsored event in Copenhagen alongside COP15, together with then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Huang Ming founded Himin Solar, China’s largest solar water heating manufacturer which produces more than 2 million square meters of thermal heaters each year. It is headquartered in Dezhou, in Solar Valley, one of the world’s largest solar city development projects, featuring three solar water heater factories, an office and hotel complex, a university, residential areas, parks and a sports and entertainment complex. The area regularly attracts between 1500 and 4000 visitors a day. Huang Ming also played a decisive role in getting China’s Renewable Energy Law passed in 2005.
Prior to founding Himin Solar, Huang Ming worked as an engineer at the Petroleum Research Institute of Dezhou. The birth of his daughter provoked a personal rethink about the environment she and other children were growing into, and this propelled him into research in the solar energy field.
“We warmly congratulate Mr. Huang Ming on this enormous and well-deserved accolade,” says Marianne Osterkorn, Director General of REEEP. “It is gratifying to see someone who is such a major force in bringing renewable energy technologies into the commercial mainstream win the Right Livelihood Award. Huang Ming doesn’t just talk about renewable energy – he has spent a lifetime making it happen. This dedication shows in many ways, including his support for our training courses in China aimed at design and building professionals.”
These courses target the building profession in China, which account for half of all new construction in the world, and are sponsored by Himin Solar, REEEP and the Berne University of Applied Sciences.
The Right Livelihood Awards Foundation was founded in 1980 by Jakob von Uexkull, a Swedish-German philanthropist, to highlight causes he felt were being ignored by the Nobel Foundation. Unlike the Nobel Prizes which are awarded in categories for Literature, Physics, Physiology/Medicine, and Peace, this award has no specific categories. The Right Livelihood Award is usually shared by four winners, and this year Huang Ming was honoured together with human rights activist Jacqueline Moudeina from Chad , the Spanish advocacy group for farmers Grain, and the American childbirth educator Ina May Gaskin.