Australian news, and some related international items

Renewable energy – a boom for China-USA co-operation?

China’s rise offers a new and crucial opportunity. Paired, the countries can float a tremendous clean energy market that could buoy the industry worldwide – or sink it if they fail…….

China & The US: Opportunity or Threat in the Green Revolution?, Renewable Energy World Magazine Article, By Elisa Wood,   December 29, 2010 The number of green relationships being established between the US and China is on the increase but does that mean these two giants can see past their differences?

Virginia, USA – China now stands alone as the most attractive market for renewable energy investment in the world, a position it had previously jointly held with the US, according to Ernst & Young’s most recent Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices report.

The news became political fodder in a US mid-term election year and has been highlighted as an example of the nation’s failings. With US jobs at stake people are worried, and for good reason.

That’s one way to look at it. Another is that China’s rise offers a new and crucial opportunity. Paired, the countries can float a tremendous clean energy market that could buoy the industry worldwide – or sink it if they fail…….

Jim Rogers, chief executive officer of Duke Energy, one of the US’ largest electricity companies.

‘I believe that China and the US are uniquely positioned to answer the environmental energy challenges for the globe,’ he said at the forum. ‘We are smart enough and have a clear enough vision to be able to cooperate and compete at the same time.’

While the two nations have many political and social differences, both face similar challenges in their power sectors. Both depend heavily on coal as a core energy resource; it accounts for 50% of the electricity mix in the US and 80% in China, which in turn makes the two countries the largest carbon dioxide emitters in the world. Also at the forum was US secretary of commerce Gary Locke, who said: ‘If not addressed, this current energy mix will significantly impact our businesses, our environment, and our way of life in both countries.’

In addition to many similarities in energy supply, both countries are poised for enormous electricity transmission grid build-outs, which will be required to meet increasing energy demand through to 2050………

China has a five-year plan for renewables to account for 15% of its energy mix on top of a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

In just three years, the country became the world’s largest producer of photovoltaic panels, according to Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ (PwC) recently published document: ‘US-China Cleantech Connection: Shaping a new commercial diplomacy’…….

Can The Marriage Work?

However, not everyone in the US welcomes expansion of Chinese companies into the US clean tech market. One concern is that while China may excel at cheap manufacturing, there may be quality issues with its goods, a problem acknowledged in a recent report published by Greenpeace, the Global Wind Energy Council, and the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association.

Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International, said in the report ’2010 China Wind Power Outlook’ that China remains dependent on Europe and the US for key wind turbine design technology; that it lacks experience in operating and maintaining wind farms; and that its workers’ skills are ‘insufficient’.

‘To face and address the long-term problems, China needs to learn constantly, create opportunities for international cooperation and communication,’ he said. The country must also establish a ‘cooperative mechanism of win-win and multilateral wins with wind power corporations and research institutes all over the world in order to learn other countries’ strong points, compensate for [its]own weak points, and develop together’…..

Another major partnership opportunity between the US and China is the development of smart grid technology. The PwC report forecast that China could spend up to $100 billion over the next decade on smart grid development, which could result in the deployment of 300 million smart meters alone…….

China & The US: Opportunity or Threat in the Green Revolution? | Renewable Energy World Magazine Article

January 1, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. The US wants more renewable energy, but has not the money for it. China wants to export renewable energy goods like solar cells and turbines and it has a lot of money. Both countries want to create labour. Why are the two countries not cooperating in B.O.T. projects in the USA ? China can export turbines and solar cells and create additional labour in China. Afterwards China has also to give the money to install those turbines and solar cell and connect them to the grid. This will produce additional labour in the USA. China can also earn money by operating these plants for 20-30 (or more) years. In the meantime maintanance work has to be done with American workforce, also substitution of non-working parts has to be done, with again China built spare parts. And after several decades these powerplants will be transferred to the USA. Why are the two countries not cooperating in B.O.T projects ?


    Comment by Eric | January 17, 2011 | Reply

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