World’s biggest solar company joins the hydrogen game

China’s Longi Green Energy Technology Co., the world’s biggest solar company, is entering the hydrogen market, industry publication Solarzoom reported.

Xi’an Longi Hydrogen Technology Co. was registered March 31 in China, according to Solarzoom. Longi’s billionaire founder and president Li Zhenguo is serving as the company’s chairman, and the shareholders are Xi’an Longi Green Energy Venture Capital Management Co. and Shanghai Zhuqueying Private Equity Investment Fund Partnership.

Longi didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on a public holiday in China. The firm, which manufactures wafers, cells and panels, is the world’s largest solar company by market capitalization, at about $52 billion as of Friday’s close.

Energy companies are increasingly turning to hydrogen as a possible carbon-free fuel that could be produced by electrolysis of water powered by renewable energy, and then stored and transported and used in everything from cars to electrical generators to steel mills.

In an interview last year, Li said a combination of solar and storage would be the cheapest form of energy in most nations globally by the end of the decade. He also said his company plans for the long term.

“We don’t only look at today, but also three, five years later or even eight or 10 years later,” he said. “After finding the direction, we don’t begrudge money on research and development.”

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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