Rising from the hills of Dao County in Hunan Province, China, beyond the city of Yongzhou, a dramatic sight appears on the horizon. Here, the massive blades of wind turbines from the Concord Jing Tang and Concord Shen Zhang Tang wind farms turn rhythmically in the sky. Developed by the Concord New Energy Group Limited, each farm generates 48 megawatts (MW) of clean energy. Along with a 38 MW farm in bordering Hubei province developed by Fenghua Energy Investment Group Co., Ltd., these three clean energy projects are the first investments of the China Clean Energy Fund.
Launched in 2018, the China Clean Energy Fund is a new, first-of-its-kind investment fund in China that connects suppliers with renewable energy projects. Apple and 10 of its suppliers in China will invest nearly $300 million by 2022 to develop projects totaling 1 gigawatt of renewable energy. The three wind farms in Hunan and Hubei will generate approximately one-tenth of the anticipated overall project total.
“To see these projects completed and already supplying clean energy to the grid is really exciting,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “We are proud that suppliers participating in the fund share our commitment to supporting innovative energy solutions, cutting emissions and fighting climate change.”
“We’re excited to support developers like Concord and Fenghua,” said Yuyu Peng, director of DWS Group which manages the China Clean Energy Fund. “The projects in Hunan and Hubei provide so many positive results. They not only support China’s renewable energy goals, but also introduce our fund partners to diverse clean energy projects.”
Transitioning to clean energy can be a challenging process, especially for small companies. By virtue of its size and scale, the China Clean Energy Fund will give its participants greater purchasing power and more attractive and diverse solutions.
“The China Clean Energy Fund has enabled us to invest in a great many renewable projects at a much higher capacity. This just wouldn’t be possible on our own,” said Hao Peng, chairman and president of Sunway Communication, an Apple supplier and investor in the fund. “We appreciate Apple’s efforts, and we’re looking forward to investing in clean energy projects across China.”
With the launch of the global Supplier Clean Energy Program in 2015, and initiatives such as the China Clean Energy Fund, a growing number of manufacturing partners — 44 suppliers in 16 countries — have committed to using 100 percent clean energy to power their Apple production. Apple and its suppliers will generate more than 4 gigawatts of clean energy worldwide by 2020. This will cover one-third of the electricity needed for Apple’s global manufacturers and suppliers.
“We’re confident that these programs can be used as a model globally to help achieve our goal of 100 percent clean energy,” said Lisa Jackson. “The projects in China show what’s possible when companies, governments and innovators step up together to address climate change.”