by Bloomberg News
The Washington Post with Bloomberg
(Bloomberg) — More than two decades ago in China, Miao Liansheng made a first tentative step toward harnessing the sun to produce power — eventually becoming a billionaire.
For a time, it worked, making his Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. the world’s biggest solar panel maker. Then in an all-too-familiar scene for clean energy producers, reality took hold for the 60-year-old former soldier in the People’s Liberation Army.
Miao’s push to dominate photovoltaics lies in pieces after Yingli missed repayment on 1.76 billion yuan ($270 million) of debt and said it’s talking with creditors about refinancing. It’s teetering is starting to look like the collapse of Shi Zhengrong’s Suntech Power Holdings Co. in 2013 — global aspirations, the amassing of billions of dollars in debt, plunging prices, overcapacity and then retreat.