New Hampshire, U.S.A. — In the solar industry’s trade dispute, alliances have been formed and the conversation has become heated. In the wind industry, we’re just getting started.
Chinese solar companies like Suntech and Yingli have been vocal in their criticism of a trade complaint filed in October by American solar manufacturer SolarWorld. Now, a similar situation seems to be unfolding in the wind industry as four American manufacturers have filed petitions that call for investigations of trading practices coming out of China and Vietnam.
China, through its state-run media, has responded strongly to the solar allegations. So far, there’s been little word out of Beijing in regard to the now-pending wind case, which focuses on wind towers made in China and Vietnam that are being sold in the U.S. market. The question everyone wants to know is, “How will China respond?” It also leads to new questions of how the U.S.-based wind industry will respond to the dispute. Will a division occur, as we have seen within the solar industry? The wind market in both countries is much larger and far more mature, so will these factors temper the angst of developers who may face higher prices?
If the solar dispute is any indication, the next few months will yield more questions than answers.
Tata Power Buys Out BP Solar: BP Solar is closing down and its longtime joint venture partner, Tata Power of India, said it will buy out BP’s share in their enterprise.
The Rise of Korea’s Solar Ambition: China and Taiwan together have been the world’s key source for solar cells and panels. Now, South Korea, a long-time manufacturing rival is elbowing its way into the fray for a piece of the growing solar market.
Reaching Higher: In China, wind developers are looking at ever higher altitudes for new wind farms, and one recent installation illustrates the potential for the growing market.
West Japan Utilities to Boost Wind Production: Six regionally dominant electricity utilities in central and western Japan have agreed to coordinate the use of their grid to boost wind power capacity in the area by a total 400 megawatts from about 1,230 MW over the next four to five years.
Geothermal’s Asia Outlook: Growing potential in Japan and a maturing market in Indonesia are drawing new interest from international companies looking to expand geothermal capacity.
Shipping Biofuel: A Danish company working with the United States Navy tests algae-based biofuel on a cargo voyage to India.
“When you compare a wind, solar or road asset, you know what the toll is if your car passes through, you know what the solar or wind price is for every unit that’s delivered. It’s like an annuity. What’s your variable? It’s the amount of wind or sun or traffic flow on a highway.”
— Vinayak Mavinkurve, of Infrastructure Development Finance Co., which funds Indian power stations, about securities to raise funds for solar projects
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