At a Glance


Retail and Apparel

Project Type

Clean and Renewable Energy






Junli Li and Xinyuan Wen worked with Walmart’s suppliers in China to accelerate the implementation of energy efficiency and solar PV projects.


Walmart engaged with two EDF Climate Corps fellows, Junli Li and Xinyuan Wen to get help in developing practical training materials for suppliers. The trainings were to guide suppliers through energy efficiency and renewable energy program implementation and could play a large part in bringing energy savings to scale.


Having interviewed more than 20 solar PV companies, Wen and Li grouped their service models into three categories: direct investment, energy management contracts (EMCs) and roof renting. Through market research on solar PV technology and extensive conversations with key market players (factories, solar PV companies, government officials etc.), Wen and Li concluded that EMCs were the most feasible and attractive approach. They conducted a sample survey among Walmart’s 500 key supplier factories and found that 71 percent were eligible for rooftop solar PV projects using EMCs. Based on this finding, Wen and Li developed a rollout plan to facilitate the implementation of renewable energy and organized a training session for Walmart’s supplier factories.

Over the course of the summer, Wen and Li visited 12 factories in the Shanghai and Guangdong regions. During the factory visits, they categorized types of industrial facilities and identified energy-saving opportunities through air compressor systems, motors, heating related systems, HVAC systems and power supply systems. By researching best practices and consulting ESCOs and independent experts, Wen and Li synthesized the key energy-saving measures for each type of facility. For each measure, they then summarized the technology and financing information, provided example case studies and included a list of relevant service companies. All of this information was then incorporated into training materials for suppliers.

Potential Impact

After the fellows’ onsite visit, two of the supplier factories have decided to invest in rooftop PV systems. Also, a professional training on solar PV technology was held among nearly 50 key suppliers, and a flysheet which synthesizes knowledge on PV technology and investment is scheduled to be distributed to 500 different Walmart factories. If the rooftop PV projects are fully implemented among all eligible factories, 1.15 gigawatts of solar PV capacity could be installed, which could generate 1.63 billion kilowatt hours of electricity every year.

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