New Hampshire, U.S.A. — As the AMSC-Sinovel wind espionage dispute continues to simmer, there is also growing tension in the solar industry as an American company prepares to file an unfair trading practices suit against China. Have China and the United States embarked on a full-fledged renewable energy race, as some American officials have suggested recently? Is there still hope for an alliance that would unite American innovation and Chinese manufacturing? And how will this impact investment as American companies look to China for capital?
Possible Trade Complaint: Weeks after an American senator sent President Obama a letter complaining about unfair trade practices in the solar industry, a unit of SolarWorld, which has its American headquarters in the senator’s home state, may be preparing to file a trade complaint against China, according to Bloomberg.
Where the Money Is: Cleantech expert Dallas Kachan takes a look at the growing China market from the vantage point of those looking for investors. If a picture tells 1,000 words, two pictures write the chapter for China’s amazing boom years. Check out the before and after photos of Shanghai’s skyline to truly appreciate the level of change that has happened since 1990.
The Way Forward: Analyst Lou Schwartz of China Strategies says it’s time for America and China to redefine the rules of engagement in light of the recent AMSC-Sinovel dispute.
IN THE NEWS
The Cost of Business?: Companies that supply turbines for large-scale wind farms in India may be required to set up domestic manufacturing facilities, according to a new government policy under consideration. If it gets the go-ahead, the requirement could impact Chinese manufacturers like Shanghai Electric and Dongfang, which have already agreed to long-term supply deals.
Hydro Growth: According to an international report, hydropower is expected to be the predominant source of renewable energy growth in Asia over the next few decades. This is due to mid- to large-scale hydroelectric plants to be completed in China, India, and a number of nations in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia and Vietnam.
Shifting Winds: Growing Chinese wind turbine manufacturers are increasingly looking beyond the strong domestic market in search of new prospects in the United States and across Europe.
Make Mine a Triple: Tokohu Electric says it plans to triple its grid-connection wind capacity by 2020 in its coverage area, which includes some of the best wind resources in Japan. Tohoku Electric said it is starting to accept applications from wind farm developers for the joint study to increase wind capacity by 200 megawatts (MW) a year over the next two years.
Power in Numbers: The 10-member Association of Southeastern Asian Nations said last week that it is working toward an integrated regional market that is able to compete with Asian giants like China, Japan and India. The Philippines could lead the effort to help integrate the region’s geothermal potential.
Hands Off My Market: Richard Braille takes a look at protectionism in the renewable industry and how in some cases it applies to growing companies in places like China, Japan and India.
What Lies Beneath: The Financial Times takes a look at why China, with 1.3 billion people, is looking at tiny Iceland, with a population of 320,000, for answers to its renewable energy goals. The answer is geothermal energy, a resource that provides a vast amount of Iceland’s energy.
Worth A Deeper Look: Vast yet untapped, Japan has a surprising long history of geothermal energy use, and the nation is starting to take another look at a domestic resource that could play prominently in its energy future.
CHINA’S SOLAR SUPPORT
China’s Solar Investment: A recent report by Mercom Capital Group details loan amounts to individual Chinese solar manufacturers. In 2010, more than $32 billion in loans were awarded, while just over $8 billion in loans have been closed so far in 2011. The chart below shows the biggest recipients.
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
September 19-26, 2011 Asia Report: Subtle Signs of Energy Shift
September 12-19, 2011 Asia Report: Wind Espionage and Solar Riot
September 5-12, 2011 Asia Report: Will Region Maintain Its Edge?