Asia Report: China Developer Puts U.S. Solar Plans on Hold

In perhaps the first sign of a changing relationship, China’s largest solar developer told international reporters on Monday that it was delaying plans to develop $500 million of solar projects in California, Texas and New Jersey.

In a news conference, a company official said the potential for tariffs on Chinese solar panels imported into the U.S. made going forward too risky. “If the solar panel prices increase by, say 30 percent in the United States, following the move, then we would certainly drop the plan because there’s no profit to be made,” Cao Huabin, the general manager of CECEP Solar Energy, told media in Beijing. The size and stage of development for the projects remains unclear. A search of the major U.S. projects listed by SEIA updated in late October did not include developments by CECEP.


TRADE COMPLAINT AND SOLAR IN CHINA

China Solar Installations: According to the recently released Solarbuzz China Deal Tracker report, falling module and balance of system prices have led to an explosion in project development activities in China as its non-residential PV project pipeline grew to 16 GW at the end of October.

Obama Critical of China Prices: President Obama for the first time weighed in on the growing divide between American and Chinese solar panel and cell manufacturers, saying that there are “questionable competitive practices coming out of China.”

Fighting Words: One of the pleasures of covering China is the opportunity to encounter rich and colorful language, and the recent trade friction has elicited quite evocative Chinese prose, writes analyst Louis Schwartz.


IN THE NEWS

Wind and Lightning: As Japan considers its energy future, industry leaders also grapple with the stubborn challenge of protecting the turbines against lightning strikes.

Geothermal and ‘The Ring of Fire’: Indonesia is aggressively moving to build up its geothermal industry with plans add as much as 9,000 MW of installed capacity by 2025. However, industry observers say the Southeast Asian country’s government must do more to attract foreign investment if it wants to achieve that target.

Japan’s Tipping Point, Part 2: Since the 1990s, Tetsunari Iida has become the chief Japanese gadfly of nuclear power, while advocating strenuously for renewable energy. He has helped to found several green mutual funds, offering a small return to idealistic investors who want to support wind and micro-hydro.  But until the recent nuclear disaster, he was mostly a voice crying in the wilderness, largely ignored by bureaucrats, governing politicians, and the mainstream media. Now it has changed, writes Mark Pendergrast.


FOCUS ON INDIA

Sinking Costs: India’s solar power costs could fall by more than 40 percent by 2015, allowing the industry to compete against domestic oil and gas firms without the help of state subsidies, the head of Lanco Solar told Reuters.

New Report: The continuing maturation of national and state-level policy could drive India’s total solar installations from 54 MW in 2010 to more than 9,000 MW by 2016. The installed capacity is expected to hit 365 MW by the end of 2011 and more than 1,100 MW by 2012.

It’s Big Business in India: IBM India will be distributing its first solar-power array atop its Bangalore offices. The array is designed specifically to run high-voltage data centers by integrating AC- and DC-based servers, water-cooled computing systems and additional related electronics.

More Solar Investment: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) approved $103.2 million in financing for two more solar transactions in India in the final months of fiscal year 2011. The approvals brought the total number of Indian solar projects that the Bank has financed in FY 2011 to six and the Bank’s total authorizations for these projects to $176.4 million.


OFFSHORE WIND FOUNDATION ANALYSIS

From MEC Intelligence

The business of foundations for mounting offshore wind turbines in Asia will face rapid changes in light of the surge in installation of wind turbines offshore. Although the offshore wind industry remains small in Asia, the region is expected to experience rapid growth through 2020 and is expected to achieve a number of installations nearly comparable to the European market. However, the technology required by the Asian market will be considerably different than of the European market. In Asia, the monopile technology is not very suitable and it will be phased out rapidly in favor of other emerging technologies, such as jackets and floating foundations, which are showing a lot of promise for cost reduction.


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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Oct. 24-31, 2011 Asia Report: Energy Solutions from Hong Kong
Oct. 17-24, 2011 Asia Report: China Responds to Solar Complaint
Oct. 10-17, 2011 Asia Report: Intensity Increases Over China Pricing
Oct. 3-10, 2011 Asia Report: In Japan, the Search for Energy Solutions
September 26-Oct 3, 2011 Asia Report: Race for Innovation, Dominance and Capital
September 19-26, 2011 Asia Report: Subtle Signs of Energy Shift

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