FIFA World Cup™ sponsor Yingli Solar has taken a significant step in the drive to make the 2014 FIFA World Cup the most environmentally friendly of all time, with today’s announcement that the iconic Maracana football stadium will be powered by solar energy for the 2014 event. This has been made possible through Yingli’s partnership with Light ESCO, EDF Consultoria em Projetos de Geracao de Energia Elwtrica ('EDF'), and the State of Rio de Janeiro.

One of the key findings from the first wave of FIFA’s Brazil Public Opinion Tracker study which was conducted in 2011 was that 90 per cent of Brazilians believe it to be vital that the 2014 FIFA World Cup is environmentally friendly. FIFA World Cup sponsor Yingli Solar is one stakeholder in the event that takes this topic very seriously indeed, with sustainability at the core of all 2014-related activities.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to supply the most recognisable stadium in Brazil, and to work with two of the pre-eminent leaders of electricity generation and solar power in the country,” said Liangsheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy. “Brazil is an important emerging market for Yingli, and we will continue to grow our presence here as the country’s solar energy potential blossoms.”

Originally built for the 1950 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho, better known as the Maracana, will host seven games in the 2014 edition of the event, more than any other venue. This will climax with the final on 13 July 2014. Under today’s agreement, over 1,500 Yingli Solar PV modules will be placed on a metal ring that will encircle the top of the stadium. The strategic placing of the panels will provide a strong visual reminder of the importance of the environment to the 2014 FIFA World Cup story.

“Sustainability is one of the key tenets in our vision for the 2014 FIFA World Cup,” said Federico Addiechi, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at FIFA. “We hope this landmark project will be the catalyst to spur other football stadiums to install solar PV systems across Brazil, serving to increase the production and use of renewable power in the country.”