Genesis Morocco: The Rise of China

Loading Assets... Please wait

Genesis Morocco

Project Genesis is a strategic sustainable development framework for Morocco to translate from being a net importer of energy and a country facing water shortage issues, into the number one producer both of clean renewable energy and water in the region.

Friday, August 6, 2010    <<Home

The Rise of China

Govt policies spur green energy boom in China, iSuppli says

China's green policies is spurring the boom of local wind power energy and photovoltaic (PV) markets, research firm iSuppli Corp said on Wednesday.

"Thanks to assiduous government support, the China markets for wind power and photovoltaic solar energy- two major green industries in the country-climbed to new highs in 2009, the latest year for which statistics are available," said Isaac Wang, senior analyst for China research at iSuppli.

According to Wang, the newly energized green initiatives come in the wake of a pledge from Beijing, announced in December 2009 at the Copenhagen World Climate Conference in Denmark, to cut China's carbon emissions in 2020 by about 45 percent from their 2005 levels.

"To achieve the target, China has indicated willingness to reduce reliance on noxious coal sources while also bolstering its fledgling renewable energy industries in order to produce cleaner power," Wang said in a report.

Wind Power Gusts to Favorable Conditions

For the wind energy market, new wind capacity generated in the country amounted to 25,100 megawatts (MW) in 2009-more than double the 12,100 MW of power posted in 2008.

China's output last year accounted for nearly one-third of new wind capacity generated worldwide during the same period, iSuppli data show, and continuous growth in the sector over the past five years propelled China to surpass Spain in 2009 and become the world's third largest provider of wind power.

Three years ago, however, China had only ranked 10th globally in wind power, with 6,100 MW.

A bastion of support for the Chinese wind power market comes from local sourcing regulations, says iSuppli.

In particular, the state-run National Development and Reform Commission of China has ruled that domestic sourcing rates should make up at least 70 percent of wind power mills for facilities to gain construction approval.

As a result of the policy, locally manufactured wind turbines now account for more than 76 percent share of new orders, while also making up 62 percent of the total wind market in the country. Together, the top Chinese players in 2009-Sinovel Wind Co., Goldwind Science & Technology Co., and DEC-account for 55 percent share of the market, iSuppli figures show.

In addition, more than $900 million in new business related to the sector is expected to be created annually over the next three years.

Photovoltaic Market Heats Up

Photovoltaic (PV) power installations grew faster in China during 2009 than the government had planned. While official forecasts had originally expected PV power installations to reach 300 MW in 2010, projections of iSuppli indicate that the local industry will generate 580 MW this year, fully exceeding the initial government targets.

China is currently the world's largest PV cell manufacturing country as well as the leading global exporter. China in 2008 produced approximately 2 Gigawatts (GW) of PV cells-with more than 90 percent shipped outside the country. Among the world's top 10 PV cell manufacturers are five Chinese firms, including No. 1 Suntech Power, as well as JA Solar, Yingli Green Energy, Ningbo Solar Electric and China Sunergy.

To encourage the development of the local PV industry, the Chinese government in March 2009 launched Solar Roof and Golden Sun, twin projects subsidizing domestic investment in PV power stations.

Over the next three years, the two stimulus programs will support 3 GW of new PV power stations in the country, expanding the roles of local firms in the entire PV supply chain. The programs are further expected to provide valuable experience for government policy makers while laying the groundwork for larger subsidy plans to follow.

sourced : International Business Times

US Losing Edge in the Clean Energy Sector

WASHINGTON—In 2000, the United States manufactured close to half of the world’s supply of solar cells, while today its contribution to the world’s clean energy market has dwindled to around 5 percent.

According to testimony before a July U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, today there are only four American companies among the top 30 global solar, wind, and advanced battery manufacturers supplying the world’s clean energy products.

“With clean energy manufacturing increasingly shifting abroad, it’s little surprise that the U.S. is running a clean energy trade deficit,” said Devon Swezey, project director at the Breakthrough Institute, before the committee.

No recent figures were provided by the hearing participants during testimony, but in 2008, the U.S. clean energy trade deficit leaped to $6 billion, increasing by 1,400 percent since 2003.

Shifting Clean Energy Investments Abroad

“What is perhaps even more concerning is that as clean energy manufacturing has shifted overseas, particularly to Asia, research and innovation activities—the area that has historically been America’s ‘comparative advantage’—have started to follow,” Swezey stated.

Swezey pointed out that the global semiconductor manufacturing giant Applied Materials Inc., based in California, is building “the world’s largest, most advanced nongovernmental solar energy research and development facility in Xian, China,” claiming that China will grow into the largest solar energy market in the future.

International Business Machines Corp., another global company with roots in the United States, is transferring more of its R&D facilities to China with an initial investment of $40 million, claiming that China’s clean energy market has the support of the Chinese government.

Other global giants, including General Motors Co., Dow Chemical Co., and Intel Corp. have already established high technology research laboratories in China.

In 2009, $34.6 billion were invested in China’s clean energy programs, almost double the $18.6 billion of investments in the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, with $11.2 billion in investments.

The money for China’s rapid expanse into the clean energy sector came from the West’s private equity funds, China’s government, its state-owned banks, and other small and large investors from throughout the world.

America needs at least $15 billion annually and a wide-ranging, targeted clean energy investment strategy. “With China and other nations moving aggressively to capture market share in the growing clean energy industry, current U.S. energy and climate policies are insufficient to keep the United States competitive,” Swezey warned.

The Chinese wind power sector has grown more than 10 times since 2006 and 130 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to Ethan Zindler, head of policy analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Although there are a number of major Western players in the clean energy sector, “today, there is no disputing that China is number one. Last year, manufacturers there had capacity to produce solar cells for use in 4,500MW of solar modules. That represented a bit over 1/3 of the world’s overall supply,” Zindler testified.

Losing the Competitive Edge

“The reason [for the U.S. losing the competitive edge] is relatively straightforward: price.
Photovoltaic modules have become commoditized; developers, homeowners, and other buyers are simply making their decisions based on price and the Chinese firms are selling for 10–20% less than their competitors,” Zindler said.

David McCall, a district director at United Steelworkers, warned that China is not a realistic and fair competitor in any market, including the clean energy product market.

China, to get the upper hand and become the No. 1 player in the clean energy sector market, will dump underpriced, subsidized products into the market. China’s currency manipulation (despite promises that it would let its currency adjust close to realistic market prices—a promise made before and dropped as soon as the world had bought into this promise) is what allows its products to be underpriced in the world’s markets and effectively destroys its competitors.

“Foundry industry leaders are trying to figure out how China is able to sell products to U.S.-based manufacturing companies at two-thirds their price, given that they are not as efficient and have to pay the same amount for raw materials,” stated Greg Noethlich, COO at Elyria/Hodge Foundries Co., in his testimony.

What it all boils down to is that America needs to wake up if it wishes to remain competitive in the clean energy sector. Policies already developed by China and German companies, which result in demand for clean energy technologies, must be urgently developed. At the same time, significant government and private sector funding for research and development is essential to keep the sector moving and out of foreign hands.

“If the United States wants our companies to thrive in the clean energy sector, we need to get our own house in order and adopt a comprehensive package of policies that creates market demand for clean energy technologies,” testified Julian L. Wong, senior policy analyst at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

U.S. Renewable Energy Funds Going Abroad

“By a margin of almost 4-1, foreign companies dominate the stimulus program that has distributed almost $2.2 billion since September [2009], reimbursing renewable energy developers,” according to an article on the Investigative Reporting Workshop website, a project at the American University School of Communication.

The stimulus funds come without strings attached and could result in a windfall profit to be allocated anywhere and for whatever purpose so desired by a clean energy firm. A total of $1.7 billion of the grant money went to foreign wind and geothermal companies and only $500 million to American firms.

The largest portion of the grants went to companies in the wind industry. Iberdrola S.A., a Spanish firm, received 57 percent ($546 million) of the funds, while the only U.S. company to receive grant money, First Wind, based in Boston, Mass., received just 12 percent ($115 million).

The biggest problem is that there are not enough American firms around to get a piece of the pie. In 2008, General Electric Co. and Clipper Windpower Inc. held close to 50 percent of the local market, while today they hold 17 percent less market share. The market is dominated by foreign-owned companies.

“The modern wind turbine was invented in the United States, but after several decades of neglect starting in the 1980s, the domestic industry is in shambles. There are only two homegrown American turbine manufacturers of any significance—General Electric and Clipper Wind. Both also import some parts from factories overseas,” according to the Investigative Reporting Workshop website

sourced : The Epoch Times