Yingli , also known as Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited , is a solar energy company and photovoltaic manufacturer. The company develops, manufactures, and sells solar modules under the brand name Yingli Solar in Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, France, South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, and the United States. Headquartered in Baoding, China, the company has 21 branch offices and subsidiaries abroad. The company is a sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams, and FC Bayern Munich. Wikipedia.
Now a team of scientists from Caltech and JPL thinks they have a possible answer. The researchers suggest that 3.8 billion years ago, Mars might have had only a moderately dense atmosphere. They have identified a photochemical process that could have helped such an early atmosphere evolve into the current thin one without creating the problem of "missing" carbon and in a way that is consistent with existing carbon isotopic measurements. The scientists describe their findings in a paper that appears in the November 24 issue of the journal Nature Communications. "With this new mechanism, everything that we know about the martian atmosphere can now be pieced together into a consistent picture of its evolution," says Renyu Hu, a postdoctoral scholar at JPL, a visitor in planetary science at Caltech, and lead author on the paper. When considering how the early martian atmosphere might have transitioned to its current state, there are two possible mechanisms for the removal of excess carbon dioxide (CO2). Either the CO2 was incorporated into minerals in rocks called carbonates or it was lost to space. A separate recent study coauthored by Bethany Ehlmann, assistant professor of planetary science and a research scientist at JPL, used data from several Mars-orbiting satellites to inventory carbonate rocks, showing that there are not enough carbonates in the upper kilometer of crust to contain the missing carbon from a very thick early atmosphere that might have existed about 3.8 billion years ago. To study the escape-to-space scenario, scientists examine the ratio of carbon-12 and carbon-13, two stable isotopes of the element carbon that have the same number of protons in their nuclei but different numbers of neutrons, and thus different masses. Because various processes can change the relative amounts of those two isotopes in the atmosphere, "we can use these measurements of the ratio at different points in time as a fingerprint to infer exactly what happened to the martian atmosphere in the past," says Hu. To establish a starting point, the researchers used measurements of the carbon isotope ratio in martian meteorites that contain gases that originated deep in the planet's mantle. Because atmospheres are produced by outgassing of the mantle through volcanic activity, these measurements provide insight into the isotopic ratio of the original martian atmosphere. The scientists then compared those values to isotopic measurements of the current martian atmosphere recently collected by NASA's Curiosity rover. Those measurements show the atmosphere to be unusually enriched in carbon-13. Previously, researchers thought the main way that martian carbon would be ejected into space was through a process called sputtering, which involves interactions between the solar wind and the upper atmosphere. Sputtering causes some particles—slightly more of the lighter carbon-12 than the heavier carbon-13—to escape entirely from Mars, but this effect is small. So there had to be some other process at work. That is where the new mechanism comes in. In the study, the researchers describe a process that begins with a particle of ultraviolet light from the sun striking a molecule of CO2 in the upper atmosphere. That molecule absorbs the photon's energy and divides into carbon monoxide (CO) and oxygen. Then another ultraviolet particle hits the CO, causing it to dissociate into atomic carbon (C) and oxygen. Some carbon atoms produced in this way have enough energy to escape the atmosphere, and the new study shows that carbon-12 is far more likely to escape than carbon-13. Modeling the long-term effects of this ultraviolet photodissociation mechanism coupled with volcanic gas release, loss via sputtering, and loss to carbonate rock formation, the researchers found that it was very efficient in terms of enriching carbon-13 in the atmosphere. Using the isotopic constraints, they were then able to calculate that the atmosphere 3.8 billion years ago might have had the pressure of Earth's or less under most scenarios. "The efficiency of this new mechanism shows that there is in fact no discrepancy between Curiosity's measurements of the modern enriched value for carbon in the atmosphere and the amount of carbonate rock found on the surface of Mars," says Ehlmann, also a coauthor on the new study. "With this mechanism, we can describe an evolutionary scenario for Mars that makes sense of the apparent carbon budget, with no missing processes or reservoirs." The authors conclude their work by pointing out several tests and refinements for the model. For example, future data from the ongoing Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission could provide the isotope fractionation of presently ongoing atmospheric loss to space and improve the extrapolation to early Mars. Hu emphasizes that the work is an excellent example of multidisciplinary effort. On the one hand, he says, the team looked at the atmospheric chemistry—the isotopic signature, the escape processes, and the enrichment mechanism. On the other, they used geological evidence and remote sensing of the martian surface. "By putting these together, we were able to come up with a summary of evolutionary scenarios," says Hu. "I feel that Caltech/JPL is a unique place where we have the multidisciplinary capability and experience to make this happen." Explore further: Sputtering: How mars may have lost its atmosphere More information: Renyu Hu et al. Tracing the fate of carbon and the atmospheric evolution of Mars, Nature Communications (2015). DOI: 10.1038/NCOMMS10003
News Article | January 14, 2016
Yingli Solar has announced plans to set up its first solar panel manufacturing unit outside China. Yingli Solar’s subsidiary Hainan Yingli New Energy Resource announced the joint venture with Demeter Power to set up a solar panel manufacturing facility in Thailand. Panels manufactured at the facility will be marketed under Yingli’s brand. Hainan Yingli New Energy Resource will invest $19 million in the joint venture and retain a 40% share in the joint venture. The facility is expected to be operation in the second half of this year. Several Chinese and Taiwanese companies have started developing overseas manufacturing facilities so as to circumvent the anti-dumping duties levied by the European Union. A number of Chinese companies, including Trina Solar and Zhongli Talesun, have extensive plans to set up production facilities in Thailand. The increased interest in the south-east Asian country is the result of the Thai Government’s proactive policies to promote investment in the solar power production as well as manufacturing sectors. Trina Solar will set up their manufacturing facility with an annual production capacity of 500 MW solar photovoltaic modules and 700 MW of solar cells. The facility is expected to be operational by early 2016. Zhongli Talesun will set up a manufacturing facility and also develop 1 GW of solar power projects over the next 3 years. Taiwan-based Gintech Energy also announced $45 million investment to develop 350 MW solar cell production facility last year. The modules manufactured at the facility may also be used by Yingli itself to set up power plants in Thailand. In late 2014, Yingli Green Energy Holding and Huawei Technologies signed an agreement to jointly develop solar power projects in Thailand. Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | August 22, 2016
Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. reached deals with lenders to modify loan agreements after the Chinese solar manufacturer defaulted on 1.76 billion yuan ($267 million) in debts in April. Its American depositary receipts surged.
News Article | February 3, 2015
Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. rose the most in six weeks as solar companies led gains among Chinese equities in New York for a second day as rebounding oil prices boosted demand for alternative energy stocks. China’s largest solar-panel producer gained 7.8 percent to $2.08. JinkoSolar Holding Co. jumped 12 percent. It was the best performer in the Bloomberg China-US Equity Index, which advanced 1.6 percent. Trina Solar Ltd. climbed 10 percent to a two-month high. The stocks rallied as oil rose for a fourth day, entering a bull market amid speculation producers will scale back production, helping ease a supply glut. The 30-day correlation between crude futures and the Bloomberg Global Large Solar Index rose to 0.6, the highest level since 2012. A reading of 1 indicates the two move in lockstep. Rising oil prices are “an extremely positive tailwind to the solar group, as solar stocks have been highly correlated to oil,” David Smith, a portfolio manager at Greentech Capital Advisors in New York, said by e-mail. Canadian Solar Inc.’s $265 million purchase of Recurrent Energy LLC, Sharp Corp.’s San Francisco-based project development unit, also boosted the outlook for Chinese solar companies as it signals they are more likely to acquire U.S. developers, Smith said. The Ontario-based company, which has most of its operations in China, said it made the purchase to take advantage of the large pipeline of projects under development across North America. Canadian Solar surged 25 percent to $26.69 in New York, the biggest rally in three years. JinkoSolar advanced to $20.92 in the steepest gain since March. Trina climbed to $10.52. ReneSola Ltd. rallied 9.5 percent to $1.38. The Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF, the largest U.S. exchange-traded fund that tracks mainland Chinese stocks, added 3.9 percent to $35.93. The iShares China Large-Cap ETF, the largest Chinese ETF in the U.S. tracking Hong Kong shares, rose 2 percent to $42.79.
News Article | September 6, 2015
Rising to the top of the solar industry is the easy part. Staying there has proven more of a challenge. No one illustrates that better these days than Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., which was until last year the world’s biggest panel company by shipments. It’s lost two-thirds of its market value in 2015 and in May acknowledged “substantial doubt” about whether it can stay afloat amid a pile of debt. The Baoding, China-based manufacturer will report second-quarter results Tuesday and analysts are expecting a 16th straight loss. It’s a familiar story in the solar business. Yingli followed Suntech Power Holdings Co., another Chinese panelmaker that held, and lost the top spot in the industry. Before that, Germany’s Q-Cells SE held the No. 1 position. Both went bankrupt, felled by debt and high costs in an industry where prices have plunged. “If you have a strained balance sheet and are not able to financially sustain yourself, that can prove lethal in this industry,” said Pavel Molchanov, a Houston-based analyst with Raymond James Financial Inc. “Yingli is another example.” The panel-maker had a market value of $132 million Friday. It had about $398 million in cash and owed $2.31 billion in long- and short-term debt as of March 31, according to its first-quarter report. In August, it said profit margins will be 7 percent to 8 percent for the second quarter, down by half from the prior period, due to higher production costs, declining prices and low factory-utilization rates. That’s not what the company forecast in June, when Chief Financial Officer Wang Yiyu told analysts on a conference call that second-quarter margins would be “slightly below” the first quarter and Yingli would “gradually increase” utilization rates this year. The company is trying to raise money to repay a local venture’s bond that’s due next month, Jean Tian, an investor relations officer, said on Monday. Yingli will raise money by selling land and from other cash flows to help cover Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co.’s 1 billion yuan bond coming due on Oct. 13., the official said. Debt, utilization and margins all tie together to show a company in trouble. Yingli borrowed money to build factories, which aren’t running at full speed. That drives down margins, erodes profit and makes it tough to repay loans. Yingli was among dozens of Chinese companies that flooded into the solar business over the past decade. The influx helped push panel prices down more than two-thirds since 2010. It also led to a global oversupply that pushed at least 30 companies in bankruptcy. While the survivors have mostly returned to profitability, Yingli has been hamstrung by debt. The company was more aggressive than rivals at taking on debt to expand capacity and win market share, said Mahesh Sanganeria, an RBC Capital Markets analyst in San Francisco. “It was an industry with a very low barrier to entry and at the time people were making a 30 percent gross margin, that looked very lucrative if you thought it was going to stay that way,” Sanganeria said. “You tend to forget that things change.” One of those investments was the 2009 purchase of Cyber Power Group Ltd. for $77.6 million, a company that makes polysilicon, the main raw material in solar cells. Yingli’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Miao Liansheng invested another $270 million to upgrade the plant. The project made more sense then, when the material sold for $400 a kilogram; today, it can be bought for less than $20, said Angelo Zino, an S&P Capital IQ analyst in New York. Yingli spent aggressively on marketing as well, including sponsoring the World Cup. Its logo was prominent during matches in Brazil last year. “They spent on capacity, they spent quite a bit on marketing,” Sanganeria said. “They took everything to the extreme.” Suntech and Q-Cells faced similar issues, borrowing to expand capacity and then finding themselves constrained by debt, said Raymond James’ Molchanov. Both struggled to cut manufacturing costs fast enough to keep up with the market. The challenge was exacerbated starting in 2011 when slowing demand in Europe led to a global oversupply of panels and falling prices. Suntech, the biggest supplier at the depths of the solar slump, missed a bond payment in March 2013 and was pulled into bankruptcy. Its founder Shi Zhengrong, once China’s richest man, was ousted and the company was bought last year by Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd. Before China dominated solar manufacturing, the industry was centered in Germany, one of the earliest nations to embrace clean energy, and Q-Cells was the top supplier. Once the Chinese producers swept in and prices fell, Q-Cells was unable to compete. It declared bankruptcy in 2012 and was acquired by South Korea’s Hanwha Group. Messages seeking comment from Hanwha and Shunfeng weren’t returned. The biggest panel maker now is Trina Solar Ltd., a Chinese supplier that won the crown after reporting 3.66 gigawatts of shipments for 2014, compared to Yingli’s 3.36 gigawatts. Trina is in stronger shape, with 20 percent margins in the second quarter, and a string of profitable quarters dating to late 2013. Unlike forebears that failed, Trina has focused on making panels and outsourced more capital-intensive parts of the business, Zino said. “They’ve been able to maintain a better balance sheet,” he said. “We’re excited about Trina. They’ve got a better business model.” Yingli is facing a 1 billion-yuan ($157 million) bond payment in October, and has a 1.4 billion-yuan note that matures seven months later. In May, the company said that its “substantial indebtedness and net loss” could affect its ability to meet its obligations. Its American depositary receipts slumped a record 37 percent the next trading day, and in an e-mailed statement the company said it was confident it could make its payments. It may take a debt reorganization for the company to survive, said Sanganeria. With debt far exceeding the company’s market capitalization, “what value do you have?” he asked. “Relatively speaking, nothing. The company is owned by the debt holders, pretty much. At some point, they will have to decide what to do with it.”