China’s New Richest Man Inspired by Jeremy Rifkin ‘s Economic Vision
Li Hejun, the Chairman of Hanergy Holding group, the Chinese Renewable Energy Company, who was just named by Fortune Magazine as China’s Richest Man, Says his Success is Inspired by American Economic Theorist Jeremy Rifkin’s Vision of a Third Industrial Revolution.
Washington DC – March 9th, 2015 – In his new book, China’s New Energy Revolution, Li Hejun, now China’s richest man, says he was “deeply moved [by the] powerful set of coordinates” that Jeremy Rifkin lays out in his book, The Third Industrial Revolution, regarding the conceptualization and deployment of a digitalized Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure. In the preface to his book, Li Hejun writes “I was deeply moved by the author’s insights. Reflecting upon my experience working in the new energy sector in the past 20 years, and especially in the PV industry in recent years, I found Rifkin’s thesis very convincing.” Li Hejun’s company, Hanergy, is a leading thin-film solar power company in the world. Hejun envisions the installation of solar and other renewable energies in every community, allowing millions of people and thousands of businesses to produce their own energy and share surpluses with others on a digitalized Energy Internet stretching across China. Hejun’s mission is to transform China into a sustainable post-carbon Third Industrial Revolution economy powered by renewable energies.
Mr. Rifkin’s Third Industrial Revolution vision has also been embraced by the new Chinese leadership. In December 2011, Premier Li Keqiang announced that he had read Mr. Rifkin’s Third Industrial Revolution book with great interest and had asked the appropriate government agencies to pay close attention to the central themes in preparing China’s plan to usher-in an ecological civilization. Vice Premier Wang Yang has also endorsed Mr. Rifkin’s Third Industrial Revolution economic development model.
In both 2013 and 2014, Mr. Rifkin traveled to Beijing, where he held substantive meetings with Vice President Wang Yang and other government officials and business leaders on China’s plan to build-out and scale-up a Third Industrial Revolution economic transition. Subsequent to Mr. Rifkin’s discussions with government leaders, the Chairman of the China State Grid Corporation, Liu Zhenya, announced China’s ambitious plan to lead the world into the Third Industrial Revolution and a new sustainable post carbon energy era. The government is dedicating an initial $82 billion to construct a Third Industrial Revolution distributed “Energy Internet” that will serve as a technology platform and infrastructure for advancing a new economic paradigm. Under the plan, millions of people in neighborhoods and communities across the country as well as hundreds of thousands of businesses will be able to produce their own green electricity locally at “near zero marginal cost” and share it on a national Energy Internet, just like they now create and share information online. The distributed, collaborative, peer-to-peer, and laterally scaled energy infrastructure will fundamentally alter the economic life of China, allowing the government to reach its 2030 goal of producing 30% of its energy from renewable sources, while establishing its commanding leadership in the next great economic revolution.
The announcement made by Liu Zhenya, Chairman of the State Grid Corporation, to introduce the Energy Internet as the “intercontinental backbone network” for a new economic era marks a game changing moment in the history of China. According to Chairman Lui Zhenya, if we “can firmly grasp the historical opportunity for the Third Industrial Revolution [it] will largely determine our position in future global competition.”
In his book, Li Hejun observes that “China missed the First Industrial Revolution and was only able to catch the last train in the Second Industrial Revolution. If it seizes the opportunities presented by the Third Industrial Revolution the realization of the Chinese dream will no longer be far off.”
Mr. Rifkin’s New York Times bestselling book, The Third Industrial Revolution, was published in China in June 2012 and was the number one bestselling business book, currently with over 500,000 copies in print. Mr. Rifkin’s new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society, was published in November 2014 in China.