Tag Archives: USA

Evidence that Chinese solar companies are selling below cost

Surprise!  The Chinese have a hinky economic system.

The reason for the sarcasm is that a US government investigation into the Chinese solar panel industry has found evidence that Chinese manufacturers are selling solar panels for less than the cost to make them, which really hurts their competitors (and them, but they’re getting free money from the Chinese government, so they’re doing well at the moment).  This shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone.

For over a decade now, the Chinese government has been making money easily accessible to Chinese manufacturers in the form of low-interest loans.  This has provided many jobs and sparked the Chinese economy into a huge boom, but it’s also allowed the companies to become bloated and inefficient (after all, why bother with efficiency when you can just take out another loan?).  The loans have become essentially free since the Great Recession started, which has made the bloat grow even faster.  This is, if you’re curious, the same situation that Japan was in in the late 80s, just before it fell into its current multi-decade stagnation.

So, yeah.  Not at all surprised that the same thing’s been going on in the solar industry over there.  The only question is what the US (and others) are going to do about it.  This situation leaves China’s competitors with three bad choices: either take advantage of the artificially cheap goods for sale (driving their own solar industries out of business), subsidize their solar industries (which would cost a lot of money), or slap import tariffs on Chinese solar panels, which would very likely start a trade war.  There aren’t really any good responses to this, the way I see it.

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Filed under Energy/Mining/Resources, Technology

Wave and tidal energies have potential to power a third of the US grid

That’s the conclusion of a Department of Energy study.  Of course, considering how little we’ve seen of wave and tidal energy generation projects, I’m not sure how much of that resource would actually be used in the next twenty/thirty years…

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Filed under Energy/Mining/Resources

US joins effort to draw up space ‘code of conduct’

I’ve seen a couple of articles on this.  It boils down to the fact that the US is critically dependent on satellites for its warfighting abilities, and anything that constrains its ability to protect those satellites (and kill an enemy’s satellites) is probably not going to be acceptable.  Other than that, yeah, we’d like everybody else to play nice in space.

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Filed under Military, Space

U.S. government unveils a new plan to deal with national waters

Not sure how effective it’ll be, but it’s nice to see the government trying to do something about the deteriorating state of our coasts, oceans, and waterways.

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Filed under Environment/Agriculture