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The Dirty Solar Panel Fight Over Clean Energy October 10, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics.
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Chinese technocrats set out to create an industry that would dominate the world, and they succeeded. They aided solar cell manufacturers with easy credit from state banks—perhaps as much as $18 billion of cheap loans—and, some say, subsidies. As a result of central and local government support, Chinese manufacturers began to expand rapidly. Chinese competitors now own 70% of the world’s wafer-producing capacity.

Make that overcapacity. “Massive subsidies and state intervention have stimulated overcapacity more than 20 times total Chinese consumption and close to double total global demand,” said Milan Nitzschke, president of EU ProSun, in a statement released late last month. The company alleges that 90% of Chinese production had to be exported and that Beijing used subsidies to keep its manufacturers in business.

The powerful Chinese National Development and Reform Commission wants to see two-thirds of panel makers go out of business.  Only the largest producers, which are presently nonviable, will survive.

In short, central government technocrats, to salvage their industrial policy, will now have to destroy what they worked so hard to create.

via Sun Sets on China’s Solar Industry – Forbes.

And Now – The Potato Battery June 20, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Science & Technology.
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Potato battery basic composition and performance. Potato Zn/Cu galvanic cell battery basic structure. The battery (Kcell = 15.5 cm) was used to light two white LEDs.

The bioelectrolytic low power electrical energy source introduced in this study brings an extra dimension to the utilization of the globally fourth most abundant crop, accessible essentially all over the world, made of solid components, and requires low initial financial investment compared with solar or conventional batteries. Boiling and the simple assembly do not require special skills; it is both easy to operate and environment friendly. Last but not least, the power generated by Zn/Cu-potato is much cheaper than any conventional portable battery and produces with LED’s substantially cheaper lighting than kerosene. The proposed technology may be immediately implemented in the developing countries for improving the life quality on numerous people who do not have access to grid electricity.

via Zn/Cu-vegetative batteries, bioelectrical characterizations, and primary cost analyses | Issue 3 – Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

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