As should have been a mantra for a long time: "Eliminate the middleman". The banks has been saved and stuffed up with taxpayers money around the world. Still, they wont finance peoples houses or small businesses. I hope the rise of internet-based financing will change all this. Spread it around the world! (From oil-choked Norway)
Many interesting points here. But I have a strong feeling that what happens in 2040 will be quite different from predictions. In one way or another, there will be a major game-changer, and it might be an "Unknown unknown" as of today.
Maybe the Chinese need a bargaining chip to make both sides give up these destructive tariffs.
It's strange how much feelings influence decisions. There has been many good comments to this article, and among them are the one stating 'How can the 97% of solar jobs be put at risk for the 3% in manufacturing?'
People, politicians and investors have, for some reason, become emotionally attached to manufacturing of solar panels. We see the same in my country, Norway, where the demise of REC has become a big issue. We should accept that fact that a norw. worker at 35$/hour simply cannot compete with Chinese working for like 5$/day.
No punitive tariffs can change this, and we also should remember that, at this moment, the value-creation in the solar-chain is in the country which installs and uses them. I would gladly leave to the Chinese to manufature these products, while "we" in the West should install as much as possible and reap the benefits of installing/connecting/constructing and of course lower co2-emissions.
The anti-dumping tariffs are not levelling the playing field, as much as they are destroying it, strangely on behalf of big oil, coal and gas.
Hello, Fred/Tor. Interesting blog-post.
Did they ever mention anything about their planned development of 20% efficiency cells? Will that take a lot of new investment, and do they then have to rebuild the whole factory-setup? And how long will that eventually take?
The cost/benefit analysis should always include the heavy subsidies for the oil/gas/coal-industry. If we removed those, the picture would look quite different.
To take it one step further: If the different sources of power had to pay a co2-tax, according to their respective emissions, the picture would quite clearly favour renewables.
My point is: The economic models we use for energy-production today, are inadequate.
Interesting, Mike. But could you be more specific in how much money actually is spent on renewables? Obviously, it should be more, and less for traditional energy, but some exact numbers would help.
Fighting over subsidies are not new either. As many times before, the western countries are giving special benefits to their own industry, and complains when someone else does the same. Afterall, that's why were still the richest.
To me it doesn't matter where we make the solar panels. The US needs jobs? Fine, subsidize. In fact this production should be subsidized all over, EU, US, China.
Put a 5 cent CO2-tax on every kw/h produced by coal/oil, and the worst forms of carbon-emitting energy. It would pay for many renewable plants, and create many jobs. 50% renewables by 2025. Could be OK.