Friday, October 14, 2011

The Waking Red Phoenix: Solar Dreams

The dragon and the phoenix are yin and yang in Chinese lore. Here are some articles on China and solar, nuclear, and wind issues, debacles, and opportunities. Only the first article in the list is not related to energy directly. The last article only makes passing mention of China in its last paragraph, but I include it, because it puts in sharp focus the reasons for taking an interest in these debates. The expected, projected rise in demand here, and in India, is frightening. 

Andrew Jacobs' piece is interesting because it shows the strength of the Chinese government's resolve to safeguard the environment. On the other hand, they may just shift the problem to another community.  "Government officials promised to relocate the plant after 12,000 residents took to the street."

I don't know enough to comment on Solyndra or the WTO issues, but I predict these will be the central contentions between the US and China in the weeks and months to come.

Aaron L. Friedberg considers the growing Sino-American rivalry and calls for the U.S. to project hard power to counter China’s rise.


China Shuts Solar Panel Factory After Antipollution Protests
Since last Thursday, the factory, JinkoSolar Holding Company, has drawn hundreds of protesters who blame the plant for fouling the local air and water.


China and India will consume 31 percent of the world’s energy by 2035, up from 21 percent in 2008, the Department of Energy predicted. 

Solyndra and the China Blame Game – Venture Capital Dispatch – WSJ – As we watch U.S. solar start-ups go up in flames, it’s easy to blame China. On Thursday, in light of the federal investigation into now-bankrupt Solyndra, Reps. Henry Waxman (D., CA) and Diana DeGette (D., CO) asked the House Committee to examine whether heavily subsidized Chinese solar companies are skewing the market, and making it impossible for U.S. manufacturers to compete.


Questions abound about whether China will be a savior for the international nuclear power industry or a ferocious competitor. 

The Obama administration gave the World Trade Organization a list of 200 programs, some in solar and wind power, that it said may unfairly benefit Beijing. 
 
Trees, natural carbon sponges, help keep heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. But insect and human threats are taking a heavy toll on them.