How China dominates the solar market

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Chris, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    Armed with tens of billions in loans from the Chinese government, Chinese solar companies have scaled at a rate unthinkable only a few years ago. At the end of this year, there will likely be 50,000 megawatts (MW) of manufacturing capacity in place around the world, with much of that new capacity being developed in China and other Asian countries. (In the year 2000, there were only 100 MW of production capacity worldwide.)

    In four years, the solar manufacturing sector shifted from being led by a geographically dispersed number of companies to one dominated by Chinese companies. In 2006, there were two companies from China in the list of top ten cell producers. In 2010, there were six, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. There are currently only two non-Asian manufacturers in the top ten, and those companies -- First Solar and Q-Cells -- have shifted a lot of their production to Asia.

    So what happened? How did the Chinese come to completely dominate the solar industry in such a short period of time?

    Bryan Ashley, the Chief Marketing Officer for Suniva, an American company that produces high-efficiency solar cells in Georgia, doesn't mince words.

    "The Chinese strategy is very clear. They are engaging in predatory financing and they're trying to drive everybody else out of the market. When you've got free money you can out-dump everybody below cost," Ashley said in an interview with Climate Progress.

    That "free money" Ashley refers to is the cheap debt provided by the
    Chinese Development Bank (CDB). Here's how the CDB works its magic.

    The CDB was originally set up as a "policy bank," to operate as an arm of the Chinese central government, doling out public funding to support central government development programs. Now it is a "joint stock company with limited liability" that often reports to China's national cabinet on certain policy issues. This allows the Chinese government to get involved in CDB activities and direct loans toward projects officials want to support.

    Unlike most regular commercial banks, CDB raises most of its money
    via long-term bonds. Funders cannot take that money back out until the term is up, so the bank can make longer-term loans to Chinese companies. CDB also gives borrowers very low interest rates, and, if the borrower cannot pay back the loan, it may be back-stopped by the Chinese government.

    This makes it easier, cheaper, and a lot less risky for solar companies to obtain financing.

    In 2010 alone, the bank handed out $30 billion in low-cost loans to the top five manufacturers in the country. (See chart above.) This has enabled China's solar producers to grow to GW scale in a very short period of time, turning the country into a leading exporter of solar and pushing down prices dramatically.

    How China dominates solar power | Environment | guardian.co.uk
     
  2. del
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    del BANNED

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    we should be more like the chinese

    let's bring back slavery
     
  3. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    I knew you were a Republican.
     
  4. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    we should be more like the chinese

    let's bring back slavery
     
  5. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Supporting HOME INDUSTRY is what CHINA is doing.

    WE ought to be as wise.

    How?

    By imposing high tariffs on Chinese solar products to encougage their manufacture in THIS nation.

    AFter all, they're DUMPING products in order to capture the market and to stifle competition.
     
  6. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    First, there should be no free trade with countries that do not have equal environmental and labor laws. Second, our nation should be investing heavily in R and D, and makiing the results available only to companies that manufacture the panels here in the US.
     
  7. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    The Chinese are only manufacturing solar panels because we want them. If there was a huge demand for Baby Grinders, they'd make them too!

    Bu then again, we should be more like the Chinese and bring back slavery.
     
  8. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    The Chinese are investing heavily in the technology of the future.

    The Republicans want to bring back slavery and the steam engine.

    They want to turn America into Dickinsean England.
     
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  9. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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  10. kowalskil
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    kowalskil Member

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    That is right, we should. But is solar electricity already less expensive than electricity from coal? I do not thin so.
    .
     

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