At the age of 32 and worth $4.4 billion, solar wafer maker Peng Xiaofeng is proof, as countries argue in Bali over who should pay to fight climate change, that there is money in protecting the environment.
Peng is chief executive of China's LDK Solar (LDK.N: Quote, Profile, Research), a company he founded barely two years ago, which has cashed in on government subsidies and soaring public demand to go green.
He was already well-off before founding LDK, but had found the family business, in personal protection equipment, a bore.
"It was a stable company. I am a young man. I needed a challenging business. I am 32 years old now. When I founded LDK I was under 30," he told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.
"When I travelled around Europe in 2003, the big discussion was renewable energy and I saw a big opportunity in China," he told Reuters in Bali, where some 190 countries are meeting to try to launch two-year talks on a global climate change pact to extend or replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2012.
Many nations, firms and individuals fear the fight against climate change will inflict big personal and financial costs, as the world grapples with reliance on fossil fuels like coal and oil. The talks this week were balanced on how to share the sacrifice between rich and poor countries.
The solar wafers made by LDK Solar are the components of modules that in turn are the building blocks of solar panels that turn sunlight into electricity. Continued...