The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Rare-Earth Resources Increase Chinese Clout

Over the past 5 years, China has emerged as a world-leading producer of solar and wind technologies. Due to its insatiable appetite for energy, the country is quickly becoming a top installer of renewables as well.

China is still consuming coal and oil at astonishing rates, however. On average, the country installs a new coal-fired facility every two weeks. Some experts believe that this will set China back and negate the progress it has made in the development of renewables.

Even so, China will continue to be a leader in the export of wind and solar technologies.

There's another factor that could increase China's role as a central figure in the renewables space: Its control of 95% of the rare earth resources like Indium, Gallium and Lithium. These are central to the functionality of solar cells (CIGS and CdTe) and battery technologies for automotive and power storage applications.

This is not a surprise. But the announcement from Chinese officials last month that it would decrease shipment of these resources by 72% certainly was. The goal is for China to lure technology companies over to the country by giving them access to restricted resources. If it works, we may see a lot more clean energy firms moving over to China.

It has given such signals in the past. China actually made a similar announcement in 2009, raising the ire of the international community.

Already, companies are setting up shop en masse in China due to lower labor costs and the need to be closer to the burgeoning renewables market around Asia. This decision to restrict exports of rare resources will likely accelerate the trend.

The Wall Street Journal had a great piece on the subject and the Energy Collective had a piece of commentary on the implications of the export restrictions on the renewable energy industry.

Also, below is a report from CNN on China's important role in the rare elements market:

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Solar power growth impacting UK electricity sector

Diarmaid Williams

Q2 of 2015 saw a large increase in the generation of electricity from solar PV in the UK, with the growth having a significant impact on electricity market prices and other supply factors.

PACE Finance Opening Doors for C&I Solar In California

Susan Kraemer, Correspondent With its excellent renewable policy, California leads the nation in solar. Over the years both the Renewable Portfolio Standard and the California Solar Initiative drove utility scale and residential solar deployment. But w...

US Clean Power Plan Could Include Carbon Trading

Mark Drajem, Bloomberg Some businesses that back President Barack Obama’s plan to curb greenhouse gases are making a late lobbying push to add an element similar to a cap-and-trade program. With the administration set this week or next to unveil ...

Why the Future of the Yieldco Is at Risk

Haresh Patel In the past two years, the proliferation of YieldCos, and their ability to open new sources of capital for renewable energy projects, has captured the attention of the energy industry. While a YieldCo’s potential to catalyz...
I am a reporter with ClimateProgress.org, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in to...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Grid-connected and Off-grid Photovoltaics

This training covers all aspects of planning, installation, maintenance,...

2015 Green Energy Expo

Stop by and visit Canadian Solar at the Green Energy Expo in Mexico City!

2015 Intersolar-South America

Canadian Solar will be exhibiting @ Intersolar-South America. Stop by an...

COMPANY BLOGS

Do Your Goals Match Your Values?

Before you set goals for your company or your personal work performance ...

LSX rises with sustainable wine making in Mexico

his custom LSX solar canopy shades the upper deck organic gard...

A Networking Story

When you’re at a networking event and you meet someone who works i...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS