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Intel Capital pumps $20m into Chinese solar

31 Oct 2008

Investment in China's renewable energy sector represents the company's first clean-tech initiative in the country.

The latest investment in China by Intel Capital has seen the company put $20 million into Trony Solar Holdings, one of the country's biggest manufacturers of solar energy and wind power equipment. The deal marks Intel Capital's sixth investment worldwide in clean technology during the past year, but the first in China's growing renewable energy sector.

"Clean-tech is a key focus for Intel Capital, particularly in the wake of rising energy costs," Ash Patel, managing director of Intel Capital EMEA told optics.org. "New technologies are deployed along the whole energy consumption food chain, and Intel Capital is looking across this range to uncover and invest in the latest innovations."

Trony Solar will use the funds to enhance its production and R&D resources. "With our investment, Trony Solar will expand the capability and application of its innovative thin-film solar technologies," said Patel. "These can be combined with lower cost volume manufacturing to target various solar energy-related applications including solar farm and photovoltaic integrated building materials." Trony already supplies customers in more than 20 countries.

The accelerating pace of Intel Capital's investments in China has seen the company establish its second China Technology Fund of $500 million earlier in the year, along with plans to invest in NPH Holdings, a developer of energy storage systems for renewable energy.

These activities reflect the company's view that investment should continue even in periods of economic uncertainty, according to Patel. "We do not plan to waiver from our investment strategy, and will continue to invest for strategic and financial reasons," he commented. "Intel Capital is committed to supporting innovative companies in difficult economic conditions."

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