New Hampshire, USA — Seven months after a trade investigation was launched, American solar companies and Chinese solar manufacturers will finally get a clear picture of the challenges ahead.
SolarWorld’s American operation led the filing of the complaint in October, making the case that Chinese manufacturers were getting an unfair level of subsidies from their government and they were then illegally dumping those products into the American market. The first phase of the ruling came down in March, and in that the Department of Commerce found an illegal level of subsidies. However, it preliminarily set the tariffs at between 2.9 and 4.73 percent.
A determination on the second of the two tariffs is set to be made on May 16 and announced on May 17. The history of international trade disputes suggests that the anti-dumping tariff, if one is set, is generally higher than the countervailing duty that measures the level of subsidies.
Maxim analyst Aaron Chew expects the anti-dumping tariff to be set between 10 and 12 percent. Combining the tariffs together could translate into a difference of between $0.10 and $0.12 a watt. To get around that, Chinese manufacturers could begin shipping cells and modules through Taiwan at a cost of $0.06 to $0.08 a watt, which could help Taiwanese solar cell makers like Motech, Gintech and Neosolar.
Canadian Solar to manufacture in Japan: Canadian Solar, the world’s fifth-largest maker of solar modules, plans to build a plant in Japan as soon as fiscal 2013 in an effort to become the first foreign company to produce solar panels in the country.
Major India Wind Investment: Goldman Sach’s-backed ReNew Power Limited has announced plans to invest more than $1.1 billion on 1,100 MW of wind energy projects across India.
Japan’s Green Energy Future Remains Murky: With its final nuclear reactor offline, Japan faces another hot summer amid the growing call that renewable energy become a staple of the country’s energy mix. Now comes the hard part of implementing that change.
Vestas Looks to South Korea for Offshore Growth: Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel has pinpointed South Korea as a future growth area for the company’s offshore ambitions. South Korea has a stated aim of developing a 2-GW wind-energy project by 2019. Last year, the country’s government said it was looking to build a 100-MW test project by 2014, and a 400-MW project by 2016.
Chinese Panels Impacting India Market: According to the Solar Energy Society of India, domestic solar companies are running with only 15 to 20 percent of their capacity and even big companies likes Moser Baer, TATA BP and Indosolar have either shut down operations or are running into huge losses because of prices coming from China.
2.1-MW Off-Grid Solar Project in Tibet: Trina announced that it has entered into a supply agreement with Longyuan New Energy to supply an off-grid solar system project in the Northern Tibetan region of Naqu.
Biomass-Solar Project in Singapore: China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corporation held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 10-MW integrated biomass-solar power generation plant at its regional headquarters. The $33.6 million project will be fueled by wood and horticultural waste, as well as a solar installation on the rooftop.
China Changing Process for Wind Projects?: The National Energy Administration approved applications by China Southern Power Grid and Guangdong Yudean Group to start preparations for offshore wind farms in Zhuhai and Zhanjiang, respectively. According to the report, the approvals may mean China is changing the approval process for offshore wind farms, from the bidding for exclusive rights to the conventional project approval method.
China’s Energy Superhighway: China is now building a 800-kilovolt transmission line that will ferry wind and solar power over 2,210 kilometers (1,373 miles) and when completed in 2014 could claim a world record for its capacity of 8 GW.
10,000 Solar Water Systems Planned: The government will install 10,000 solar-based water systems to supply drinking water to the rural communities in 78 Maoist-affected districts in the country, rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said.
Indonesian University Building Geothermal Study Center: Diponegoro University of Semarang, central Java, is building a Geothermal Research Center to be run by the Faculty of Science and Mathematics to examine potential geothermal resources in Indonesia.
Food Meets Fuel: As a graduate student, Kengo Suzuki used to spend hours in the lab studying ways to speed up the growth of a variety of algae known as euglena. Today, the 32-year-old helms research that has not only turned the tiny single-cell organism into a key source of fuel for powering jet planes in the future, but also made it a nutritious addition to pasta sauce and food bars.
“It can be a game changer, but you need a lot of enabling policies and private-sector investors who are prepared to take a few risks. You need an extremely forward-looking R & D policy and infrastructure, and I am not so sure that is in play yet.”
Rajendra Pachauri, who led the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on India’s policy
7,112: MW of wind
965: MW of small hydro power
1,414: MW of bio-power
940: MW of solar power
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