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China announced Monday that it plans to add an additional 10 gigawatts of solar energy generating capacity in 2013 after already more than doubling its total solar capacity for generating solar electrity in 2012, to a total of seven GW. To put this into perspective, this is a whole lot of watts, folks! As Carl Sagan might say, "billions and billions" of watts.

In 2011 China had 3 GW. From what I can gather, the U.S. appears to have had just under 4 GW, and we were expected to add just under 3 GW more in 2012, (although these numbers may include other forms of solar thermal generation.)  

China's plans to ramp up capacity in 2013 adds to solar shine.


BEIJING - China, the world's top energy consumer, will more than double its installed solar power capacity this year from 2012, the government said on Wednesday, driving up shares of US-listed Chinese solar companies.

China aims to add 10 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar power capacity this year, up from 7 GW at the end of last year, the government said on its website (, citing an annual national energy work conference this week

Wayne Ma tells us more in a Wall Street Journal report entitled China Plans To Ramp Up Solar-Power Capacity.

The ambitious target would put China's solar capacity within striking distance of its goal of reaching 21 gigawatts of installed solar power capacity by 2015, and suggests the government could either exceed or even adjust its goals.

The state-run Xinhua news agency reported last month that "high-ranking government officials" are considering doubling China's solar-capacity target to 40 gigawatts by 2015 to support local solar manufacturers, citing Meng Xiangan, deputy board chairman of the Chinese Renewable Energy Society.

Yes, you read that correctly. Seeing itself on track to meeting its 2015 goal of 21 gigawatts of generating capacity. China is considering doubling its target for 2015 to 40 GW. To put that into perspective PV Magazine reports cumulative U.S. photovoltaic capacity was just under 4 GW at the end of 2011 with 2.8 GW of new capacity predicted for 2012, for a presumed total of just under 7 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity.

While there are non-photovoltaic ways of producing solar electricity, from what I can gather China has just about added as much solar generating capacity in the last year, as we, in the U.S.A. have accumulated in our entire history. Although, I am still trying to get better data, as this sounds nearly impossible. At the end of 2011, the cumulative installed solar photovoltaic electrical generating capacity of the world was 68 GW according to a
European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC) report. The global  installed electrical generating capacity of wind power is reported to be 238GW.

This graphic is quite a few years old, but it illustrates the long-term trends of the historical context, and the magnitude of the Chinese commitment for the upcoming years.


U.S. Market Installs 684 MW in Q3 2012; Continues Record Year

The third quarter 2012 was the third largest on record for the U.S. solar industry and raised the total installed capacity through the first three quarters of the year to 1,992 megawatts (MW)- already surpassing 2011’s annual total of 1,885 MW. There were 684 MW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed in Q3 2012, representing a 44 percent increase in deployment over the third quarter of 2011. SEIA forecasts that an additional 1,200 MW of PV capacity will be installed in the fourth quarter of 2012 alone, bringing the total for the year to 3,200 MW. (All data from SEIA/GTM Research “U.S. Solar Market Insight Q3 2012” unless otherwise noted.)


This plot from last year, represents the famous "learning curve" observation that the manufacturing cost of products tends to decline by a steady percentage for each doubling of the installed base. If China follows through with commitments of this magnitude it will lead the world in taking the costs of solar photovoltaic production another step towards grid parity.

So when it comes to adding solar photovoltaic generating capacity, stand aside world, China takes large steps.


PhotobucketThe Daily HoundDogs

PS One of my New Year resolutions was to do more to combat global warming by learning more about renewable energy generation and promoting our conversion to sustainable energy. Thanks for joining me in this exploration. Woof, woof!

5:43 PM PT: This plot from 2010, of Chinese production capacity may have provided a clue to what we are seeing today. One aspect of the Chinese expansion of domestic use is to help their manufacturers get through a period of global excess capacity caused in large part from their aggressive over expansion without appearing to provide direct subsidies during the international trade suits.


Originally posted to SciTech on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 05:09 PM PST.

Also republished by Kosowatt, And Now for Something Completely Different , and DK GreenRoots.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I suppose we really ought to tell Congress that (37+ / 0-)

    we're losing the solar race to the Chinese.  We have a big kilowatt gap for crying out loud.

    Tipped and Rec'd.   This country could really help unemployment and reduce the deficit and reduce our carbon footprint by a massive investment in solar infrastructure.

    Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

    by pistolSO on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 05:15:53 PM PST

  •  Decades ago, I used to read and reread (12+ / 0-)

    and reread all of the Whole Earth Catalog and its few successors.  But I'm wearing down and not thinking as quick as I used to do.

    I'd love to see a big diary here from an expert on how it's best for a U.S. land owner to go solar.

    I've dipped into that a little, and I'm baffled and intimidated.

  •  Why, that's enough to run all the control panels.. (8+ / 0-)

    ...of the new coal-fired plants the Chinese are bringing online!

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 05:27:51 PM PST

    •  Rich I think the new coal fired power plants (5+ / 0-)

      are still opening at the rate of one every two weeks.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:16:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  China will import 430 million tons of coal by 2015 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, HoundDog, Rich in PA

        ..up from 180 million tons in 2011.

        Why such reliance on coal?  China has come to the conclusion that.......

        “There will be hardly be any breakthrough in two core technologies that are highly related with global energy security and climate change. According to field measurement and estimates, lithium batteries will suffer from high energy consumption and high pollution under current technologies in the Chinese market. Coupled with high costs, inconvenient weight and short life, the lithium battery is unable to bring revolutionary changes to electric vehicles. Second, Carbon Capture and Storage is the best hope to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel power generation in the world, is facing some fatal problems, including lack of some integrated commercial demonstrations, increasing total costs, falling energy efficiency, lack of legislation support and low public acceptance.”

        A number of years ago China decided it needs its own version of the truth. To develop an expertise in generating models which encompass energy-economy-environment to understand how energy policy affects the future of China. It was decided at the highest levels to create 1) a short term outlook to 2015 which has just been published, and 2) A long term outlook to 2050 which will be published next year. They both encompass the Chinese and World energy situation. However, as usual the communication/language barrier - Mandarin is difficult to read for Westerners - makes this unbeknownst in the western world.

        Fortunately, I had the opportunity to attend the first presentation in the western world of the new China Energy Outlook, on 16 October at the Grantham Institute in London, delivered by Professor Han Wenke and Dr. Yang Yufeng. Both work for the Chinese Energy Research Institute, which is a part of the National Development Reform Commission of China, the government body in charge of macroeconomic planning.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

        by PatriciaVa on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:22:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's enough to lead in a new industry (6+ / 0-)

      which will inevitably become cheaper, and more used, than the killer fuels.

      There's short-term. There's long-term. The American disease is thinking in quarters, and not decades. Hence, American commentators can't think much past their nose.

      China doesn't, and that's why China was one of the poorer, and most miserable, nations on earth twenty years ago and is now poised to be the world's leading economic nation. Our pundits thought by 2045, or 2035 just a few years ago. Now they're saying 2015, 2018.

      China's leaders are now quite aware of pollution problems, though that awareness just began in the last few years. Mainly created because of popular protests over pollution. They've just begun to start addressing that.

      Short-term thinking. Long-term thinking.

      Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

      by Jim P on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:21:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, they're doing both solar and coal. (5+ / 0-)

      an all-in energy policy, like we say we have, only they really mean it.

      Am I happy about all those coal plants? No.
      But hey, everybody's always telling me, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good!

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:39:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except You're Wrong (0+ / 0-)

      China consumed for example 453.7 GWh in July 2012. At 744 hours in July, that's a rate of about 610GW. Solar is now 7GW. That's about 1.15%; adding 10GW this year will mean 2.8% of China's electricity is generated by solar.

      If you think that one of every 36 watts (or of every 100 watts, or 1000 watts) in China is used to power its new coal plants controls, you should stop posting about energy.

      Yes, China's new coal plants are a bigger investment than its new solar generation. Yes, the coal is counterproductive. But the new solar isn't a trivial amount. According to the plans in this diary, 40GW of solar in 2015 will be something like 7% of China's consumption. That's over 1/3 of the (19.2) share nuclear generates in the US.

      These solar numbers are so impressive, they should be inspiring. Inspiring a "solar race", not some kind of sour grapes that leaves the US trapped in a 20th Century energy infrastructure with 21st Century consequences.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 05:29:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This means, I'd think, that China (11+ / 0-)

    is going to have many fewer panels to sell through 2015.  Further incentive to go fully Sputnik on domestic panel production.

    This feels like a race.  And it should.

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 05:46:31 PM PST

    •  China will have fewer panels to export b/c.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kickemout, KenBee

      ... demand has evaporated.

      SATURDAY, JANUARY 5, 2013

      More Clouds Gather Over Solar-Power Producers


      An early bear on the industry thinks the forecast is even worse now than it was prior to 2011's heat stroke for the stocks.

       We've seen estimates for the global supply of solar panels at upward of 100 million gigawatts (that is, billions of watts). What's your forecast for supply and demand?

      In China alone we think there was over 40 gigawatts of production capacity at year-end 2012, while aggregate global demand was just about 24 gigawatts. We recently went through all 95 companies in our Chinese solar-supply model, to reflect recent announcements out of these companies, many with negative cash flow. Though some 30 companies left the business, China was adding roughly five gigawatts of capacity in 2012 and plans to add roughly two gigawatts in 2013. Capacity is not being rationalized in China.

      Why has demand decreased?  From the same Barrons piece...
      Johnson: The bearishness I feel now is the most pronounced since I've covered the stocks. The reason is simple. Since 2008 we've been calling for Armageddon, because supply massively exceeded demand. But in 2008 and every year through 2011, you had miracles in some end market.

      In 2008, Spain decided that they were going to end their solar subsidy. But they announced it ahead of time, and that caused a massive demand rally before the end of the year. In 2009, Germany decided they were going to cut their incentive and caused a spurt that made demand look much better than it actually was. It happened again in 2010, when Germany, the Czech Republic, France, and the U.K. all said that they were going to make incentive cuts. And again, in 2011, Italy announced it would make a Draconian cut in its incentive at the end of that year.

      Finally, in 2012, you actually had the cuts in the key European markets. Germany and Italy were roughly half of aggregate solar demand in 2011. In the third quarter of 2012, big incentive cuts took effect in those markets. In 2013 is you will have a full year of these incentive cuts impacting global solar demand.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:28:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is just insanity... (13+ / 0-)
    from what I can gather China has just added as much solar generating capacity in the last year, as we, in the U.S.A. have accumulated in our entire history.
    We're always saying how China is "eatin' our lunch" economically; yet we refuse to compete with them and other countries in categories that facilitate their rise in power and status in the world. Green energy innovation is going to drive economies.

    If we're going to borrow money from them anyway, isn't it a good idea to spend that money in ways that not only benefit the citizens of our own country but also enable us to compete with the rest of the world on an equal playing field at the same time? Our country desperately needs progressive policies in the 21st Century. Those policies are the only thing that will save it.

    It's like our government is made up of the children of Neverland, oblivious to the future because tomorrow will never come.

    But the reality is... tomorrow is already here.

    "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

    by markthshark on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 05:49:59 PM PST

  •  nice post HD (9+ / 0-)

    hope you post it again sometime

    when more can see it.

    Here's how the game is really Rigged.

    by jamess on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 05:54:39 PM PST

  •  Those hippy dippy commie yahoos (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, joanneleon, elwior, mightymouse

    and their anti nuke pipe dreams ,
    don't they know solar panels kills kids in Africa !!!
    Man solar will never fly , mark my flames !
    Seaborg !!!

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:00:16 PM PST

  •  And here it is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, HoundDog, Jim P, Words In Action

    Thorough job, as always.  Thanks, HoundDog.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:20:46 PM PST

    •  Hey wader. Remember my comment to you in OND (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, elwior, AllisonInSeattle, KenBee

      three nights ago about how someone could turn any one of a few dozen typical random comments in OND to rec'd posts with just a few extra pix's?

      Just to prove the point with extra HoundDog verve, with this post going rec'd, I've now done it twice in a row,  in the exact order of the next  two comments I made under that one. The comment above the one on this link was the 1.3 billion German on the rec list the last two days.

      Bwa, ha, ha!  Woof, woof! Aaaaaahhhooo!

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:37:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It still takes some skill to offer the points in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, elwior

        accessible and pertinent ways.

        Yup, my comment was an oblique reference to our small chat in OND from the other evening - I could tell you were going to do something :) .

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:47:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here are two original comments from OND three (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, elwior, AllisonInSeattle, KenBee

          nights ago wader, maggiejean, and a few others were chatting about. I really have to recommend everyone check out the OND Overnight News Digest which the wader, maggiejean, and the rest of the "Magnifico gang" produces around midnight every night, rain or shine.  

          I was suggesting that OND was such a rich and dense source of fascinating articles almost any comment, or one of the the several dozen nightly article summaries could be turned into a rec'd post.

          I rest my case!

          I'm working on an article on global solar energy (7+ / 0-)
          developments and it occurred to me that you all might find this snippet encouraging.

          Energy Matters reports 1.3 Million Solar Power Systems In Germany, in a record setting year.

          According to the German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar), Germany now boasts 1.3 million solar power systems - with most of those privately owned. These systems generated an estimated 28 billion kilowatt hours of clean electricity last year; representing year on year growth of 45 percent.

          Chief executive of the Solar Industry Federation Carsten Koernig said solar power's share of Germany's energy supply had quadrupled in three years and the price of solar panel systems halved. ...

          Photovoltaics in Germany currently supply around five percent of electricity demand. By 2020, BSW-Solar aims to see PV's share in Germany's electricity mix reach at least 10 percent and at least 20 percent by 2030.

          Germany's drive to expand solar power over the last years has contributed a great deal to driving down prices on panels and related components.

          China has such a colossally ambitious expansion program that they seem to be considering doubling their 2015 goals for total installed solar capacity. (In part to help out their manufacturers who have expanded production capacity so fast they have caused a global price war reducing prices on solar photovoltaic models by 75% in the flat four years.  80% in the last five years creating turmoil for competitors around the globe.

          Since they are being sued by Europe for "dumping" modules below cost, they realized a more creative way than direct subsidies, which would be a further violation of fair trade laws, would be to launch a national program to install more than 12 gigawatts of generating capacity domestically to absorb the excess inventory and production capacity of their suppliers.

          As long as "we" are talking about China maybe I (6+ / 0-)
          can share this as well?

          Wayne Ma writes in Wall Street Journal reports China Plans To Ramp Up Solar-Power Capacity, more than doubling its solar capacity for generating solar electrity in 2012 to a total of seven gigawatts. Next year China will add an additional 10 gigawats. in 2011 it had 3 gigawatts.


          In a speech at China's annual national energy work conference dated Monday and released on Tuesday, Liu Tienan, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planning body, said China would add an additional 10 gigawatts of installed solar power capacity this year. Mr. Liu didn't provide any specific details of how it would achieve this goal.

          China's solar power capacity rose to seven gigawatts in 2012, Mr. Liu added. Chinese officials previously said the 2011 capacity was three gigawatts.

          The ambitious target would put China's solar capacity within striking distance of its goal of reaching 21 gigawatts of installed solar power capacity by 2015, and suggests the government could either exceed or even adjust its goals.

          The state-run Xinhua news agency reported last month that "high-ranking government officials" are considering doubling China's solar-capacity target to 40 gigawatts by 2015 to support local solar manufacturers, citing Meng Xiangan, deputy board chairman of the Chinese Renewable Energy Society.

          This is an enormous amount of new capacity, which is more than entire global installed capacity of some numbers of years ago, I'm still researching it.

          I believe this entire global installed solar capacity is now around 100 Gigawatts, but I'm double checking for this article I'm working on.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:04:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  We are such (9+ / 0-)

    a stupid country in some ways.

    We spend so much money destroying things and people.  Blowing shit up.  And meanwhile, China just builds and builds.  We tear down. They build.

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:37:09 PM PST

  •  Things got out of control in China, and their (6+ / 0-)

    companies started cranking out so many solar cells that the bottom fell out of the market. Have you seen how cheap solar panels are in this company right now? Too put a floor back under their huge investment in this technology the Chinese are trying to soak up the surplus by putting projects up everywhere.

    And, by my estimation, things will never be the same again (which is a good thing).

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:39:12 PM PST

    •  Yes. My understanding is that a few years ago (5+ / 0-)

      The Chinese government gave $30 billion of grants and loans to their emerging solar industries.  The European countries and US sued for dumping.  So now that the excess capacity is causing an global inventory glut and price war, they are funding an enormous domestic expansion of local solar installation to stimulate their industry indirectly and escape international criticism but still have their solar firms survive the industry shake-out going on now.

      Another article today reported a Chinese entrepreneur buying up western "thin film" solar companies for 10 cents on the dollar. Thin film is a more advanced technology but all firms are having trouble with the 80% drop of prices for solar modules in the last five years.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:09:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, 80% in the last five years, but by far the (3+ / 0-)

        majority of it in the last 12 months.

        Personally I think that this is one cat that is never going to go back in the back, but I suppose that we could end up with peaks and valleys like with oil.

        These are actually kind of exciting times.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:48:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Now that's strategy for you! (0+ / 0-)

        Meanwhile, we're engaged in the strategery of ignoring science, investing in fossil fuels, privatizing stuff (and paying more for it), and concentrating wealth.

        Who needs strategy when we got strategery!

        The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

        by Words In Action on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 06:55:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Texas has 10 GW of wind, is looking at 20 more (6+ / 0-)

    The high voltage lines in the CREZ are supposed to be completed this year, opening a big fat pipeline to tie the wind out west directly to the population centers further east.

    Set a new record Christmas day with peak output of 8,638 MW. (date should be 1/2/13 not 1/2/12)

    Just for grins, here's a google map showing part of the world's fourth (used to be #1) largest wind farm outside Roscoe TX. Six of the world's fourteen largest farms are in the general area. Zoom in a bit and you can see the shadows of the turbines. Pic was apparently taken late afternoon.
    I'll be driving through it on Saturday.

    Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

    by grubber on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:26:13 PM PST

  •  But, but - Solyndra (6+ / 0-)

    There is no issue that the GOP will not use to play to their base of ignoramuses.  Climate change and green energy use to be bi-partisan issues, but the right saw an opportunity to use the "common sense" argument (keeping in mind that common sense is usually wrong) that we had to keep oil cheap and solar and wind were just "too expensive".  Meanwhile the Chinese are laughing all the way to the bank.  Today it was announced that they bought a US solar company for pennies on the dollar, gaining several hundred million dollars of R&D and patents for next to nothing:  

    Chinese Firm Buys an American Solar Tech Company.  

    Meanwhile Germany increased their solar capacity by 45% last year.

    German solar shone in 2012

    The US is getting left behind all because the leaders of one of our two parties is willing to trade short term political gains for the future of our country.  

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:05:59 PM PST

  •  The ability to do "big things" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arlys, Words In Action

    There was an interesting discussion in Technology Review a few months ago debating why we, in the US, can't do big things anymore.

    China may provide a wake up call. China is a Capitalist country and the working level and a Communist country at the top level. They are able to do big things. During the current economic downturn we are barely able to grow our GDP by 1% while China has "slowed" down to 8.5%. Take a look at our historic GDP growth number ad I think that we don't have any years in the last 50 where we grew more than 8%.

    We in the US constantly say "let the market decide". This may, in fact, be wrong, when you are looking at economic strategies for a nation. I'll state this really clearly and you can digest it if you want. China grows dramatically and accomplishes big things by virtue of a market driven economy at the lower level and a Communist Dictatorship at the highest levels. I'm not suggesting this for the US but I think that a much stronger, smarter government will be necessary for sustained growth. Most of the leadership in China have degrees in Engineering; most of the leadership in the US have degrees in Law. They will pass us as the largest economy in the world in mid 2016 at current rates.

  •  Capacity Does Not Equal Delivered Energy!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Let's say that China does use some of their mothballed and deliberately made PV manufacturing overcapacity to make PV systems that actually get installed in China. Great! Let's say that they make and install 10 GW of PV capacity in China next year. It's a good way to utilize spare labor and resources (although the very large quantity of electricity made with coal that is used to make PVs that is supercheap and thus its own subsidy is conveniently ignored....).

    10 GW of PV capacity is somewhe between 1 to 1.2 GW in terms of delivered electricity, unless these are installed in the Mongolian deserts (in which case they would not be grid connected...), where the net ouput of PVs is up to 20% of their capacity. China's intense smog will also affect any PV systems installed in or downwind of urban zones, especially via the particulate pollution that blocks a lot of sunlight from getting to the surface of the planet.

    Anyway, of great significance is that 10 GW of Slave labor made PV manufacturing capability will be taken off of the world market. China can employ its own slaves, and this stops a bit of slave labor based mercentilism from degrading wages in more advanced countries. It will also allow prices of PV systems to rise to perhaps sustainable pricing levels. Last year virtually every PV manufacturer lost money. And it makes no sense to operate a mlti-billion dollar industry that loses bilions of dollars every year because prices are less than the cost to manufacture these systems.


    •  Virtually every company in the world invests (0+ / 0-)

      capital ahead of revenue. It's part of what is called strategy. Why not governments? We have national interests, why not approach them strategically?

      And it makes no sense to operate a mlti-billion dollar industry that loses bilions of dollars every year because prices are less than the cost to manufacture these systems.
      This is wrong on other levels, but can be completely rejected on any one level.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 06:50:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

        Maybe the government, which can create money ad infinitum, can make up the difference, though it is doubtful given the quantities of money that could be involved. And maybe they would want to put their money in wind turbines, which can deliver 5 to 10 times more renewable energy per billion doloar installed cost. But they won't do that either.

        The economic benefits that come from making solar PV (which are where most of the benefits come from once the supply chain is considered) are negated when we use slave labor from China to make the parts and products. And you don't get a lot of benefits when cut rate labor is employed to install them (but that does make for lower cost installations....).

        If you are in a business, you can't afford to stay in business for long when the sale price does not come close to breaking even, let alone making a profit. That leads to closure of the facility, and no more investment in new facilities. And if the business goes belly up, no paying workers and suppliers of parts made with that supply chain, and thus their workers and investers. .

        Face it, PV is not cheap once you factor in paying for the product. And neither are a lot of energy production techniques. And burying costs (externaling) has not done us any benefits with respect to fossil fuels. Maybe we have to pay more for electricity. But unless an Uncle Sugar comes in to make up the difference between the cost to make PV and the price that it is sold at, that business is already the walking dead. And those Uncle Sugar bucks have to come from somewhere, and when that happens, maybe someone will ask how much CO2 pollutant replacement they are getting for the dollars invested, and whether there is a better way to get more CO2 pollution avoidance for the dollars spent. If that happens, the PV biz in this country is in big trouble.... And if these PVs can't be made in this country when they are installed here, maybe you might want to ask if the installation is really worth it.....


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