And from the NYT, no less:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/business/global/glut-of-so...Though worldwide demand for solar panels and wind turbines has grown rapidly over the last five years, China’s manufacturing capacity has soared even faster, creating enormous oversupply and a ferocious price war.The result is a looming financial disaster, not only for manufacturers but for state-owned banks that financed factories with approximately $18 billion in low-rate loans and for municipal and provincial governments that provided loan guarantees and sold manufacturers valuable land at deeply discounted prices.China’s biggest solar panel makers are suffering losses of up to $1 for every $3 of sales this year, as panel prices have fallen by three-fourths since 2008. Even though the cost of solar power has fallen, it still remains triple the price of coal-generated power in China, requiring substantial subsidies through a tax imposed on industrial users of electricity to cover the higher cost of renewable energy.The outcome has left even the architects of China’s renewable energy strategy feeling frustrated and eager to see many businesses shut down, so the most efficient companies may be salvageable financially.In the solar panel sector, “If one-third of them survive, that’s good, and two-thirds of them die, but we don’t know how that happens,” said Li Junfeng, a longtime director general for energy and climate policy at the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planning agency.Mr. Li said in an interview that he wanted banks to cut off loans to all but the strongest solar panel companies and let the rest go bankrupt. Long story short? Government couldn't predict the uptake of solar cells very well, so it overbuilt on capacity and now faces the real possibility of a number of its wind turbine and solar cell fabs going away, potentially opening the door on $billions in losses.As a side note. I'm perfectly fine with China building all the solar cells it can make. In terms of semiconductor processing, it's not all that hard to build one. Let US fabs build microprocessors and SOCs and let China build this stuff. BTW. Here's how to make a solar cell in your kitchen:http://www.ccmr.cornell.edu/education/modules/documents/Maki...
I don't see how they get them to work in China anyway. The model city where they also build them is so smoggy, I don't see where most solar radiation is getting through anyway.It is one of their ghost citieshttp://www.businessinsider.com/pictures-chinese-ghost-cities...
Once upon a time they went crazy building railroads in the US. People invested in them like there would never be enough. Then some of the railroads went bust and there was a huge panic, followed by a brutal recession. When it was all over, a lot of the guys who owned those railroads became pig rich because they hung on. The Chinese think clean energy is the future and they intend to own it. Stay tuned, because if the US oil oligarchs have their way the Chinese will own it.
Once upon a time they went crazy building railroads in the US. People invested in them like there would never be enough. Then some of the railroads went bust and there was a huge panic, followed by a brutal recession. When it was all over, a lot of the guys who owned those railroads became pig rich because they hung on. The Chinese think clean energy is the future and they intend to own it. Stay tuned, because if the US oil oligarchs have their way the Chinese will own it. ______________Why shouldn't they think they are going to own it, when we subsidize it and they effect policy like the Kyoto Protocol that says they can burn everything from cow dung to coal (not even clean coal), while at the same time, we will pay for their "future green energy".If it is so efficient why is China buying up all the oil and gas they can, mining more coal than any other country all over the world?Why have GE and BP had to suspend their interest in solar? It's not because they weren't interested.I am all for research and development and there is plenty of venture capital along with federal dollars still being thrown at it. What I am NOT in favor of is an economic paradigm to force something that is not ready, put handcuffs on our own economy, and bankrupt businesses here to boot (with the exception of a few cuties who will get rich traading carbon, which does zilch, zero, nada reducing carbon).Besides which, they have not spent their capital very efficiently if they got dozens of ghost cities that are already falling into disrepair. These empty ghost cities with millions starving in this country baffles the mind. What's the point? They thought we would all run over there and buy the real estate up?
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