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

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:

RELATED ARTICLES

Rooftop Solar Panels

Hypocrisy? While Buffett Champions Renewables, His Company Fights Rooftop Solar

Mark Chediak, Noah Buhayar and Margaret Newkirk, Bloomberg Warren Buffett highlights how his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. utilities make massive investments in renewable energy. Meanwhile, in Nevada, the company is fighting a plan that would encourage more residents to use green power.
Japan Microgrid

Born from Disaster: Japan Establishes First Microgrid Community

Junko Movellan, Correspondent Although Japan's Fukushima prefecture is most commonly associated with the 2011 disaster due to the nuclear power melt-down, Miyazaki prefecture, located north of Fukushima, suffered from the largest death toll, close to 10...
Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
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

03/01/2015
Volume 18, Issue 3
file

STAY CONNECTED

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

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

EU PVSEC 2015 (European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition)

The EU PVSEC is the largest international Conference for Photovoltaic re...

Using Grid data analytics to protect revenue, reduce network losses...

Schneider Electric and Awesense have combined expertise to develop integ...

CA Wine Industry's 2015 Solar Update- WEBINAR

Proceeds from event registration will go to the CA Sustainable Win...

COMPANY BLOGS

EU PVSEC 2014: Call for Papers Receives Great Response

More than 1,500 contributions apply for presentation in AmsterdamScienti...

EU PVSEC 2014 extends its Scope

Added focus on application and policy topicsAbstracts for conference con...

Boulder County Residents Generate Their Own Energy with Community S...

Despite a soggy afternoon, solar energy advocates gathered at ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS