China using its massive foreign exchange horde to buy commodity assets around the world is an old story by now.It is now also getting into the act in the Green Energy area as China’s state owned chemical group Blue Star has bought Norwegian environment chemical company Elkem from the Orkla conglomerate.Elkem is one of the largest silicon metal producers in the world and makes a solar grade polysilicon through a specialized low cost process.Orkla which is also the 40% owner of one of the world’s largest silane and polysilicon producers Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) had been looking out for some time to sell Elkem.China has not been a big producer of polysilicon which is the main raw material for producing silicon based semiconductors and silcion based solar panels.The massive demand for polycrstalline modules has resulted in it being the main demand driver for polysilicon.
India’s Agriculture Sector account for only a miniscule percentage of GDP and growth,however most of India’s population continues to depend on it.Despite rapid growth of the services and industries sector as globalization leads to assimilation of foreign technology and practises,agriculture continues to live in medieval times. India’s Food Supply Chain leads to massive waster and inefficiency with 30% of India’s vegetable and fruit produce being wasted.This is criminal in a country where most of the children go hungry.However corporatization has been repelled by vested interests leading to a the sorry situation.Food inflation has seen double digits since last year and despite a better harvest year,some food prices are touching the stratosphere.The inadequate supply chain leads to periodic shortages of key food items used by Indian as part of the daily diet.
India’s top leaders don’t have to suffer from the daily travails of monstrous transport problems as their security convoys have the roads cleared for them.Even a minor functionary has red lights blazing on the top of their security cars and flouting all traffic rules as policemen salute and clear the way.There is no concern about the plight of normal people who on top of the daily traffic jams have to face an additional ordeal due to the stoppage of vehicles for the passage of the VIP entourage.Even ambulances and emergencies are not spared as a person died of a heart attack after getting stuck for 30 mins.Note people dying in traffic jams has become a normal thing in India these days as serpentine traffic jams make it almost impossible for ambulances to transport time critical patients on time.Indian cities have become traffic hells as motorists fail to follow any traffic rule or regulation.Policemen trying to correct errant drivers are frequently beaten up by taxi/auto unions .Red lights are not followed by a lot of the vehicles and traffic rules exist only on paper.Huge numbers of casualties are reported every year which are easily preventable.But for a totally corrupt bureaucracy and police,these problems are not a concern at all.
Utilities trying to spinoff their Renewable Energy Subsidiaries have faced a very tough 2011 with many of the plans being scrapped.The Utilities which have managed to list have done so at much reduced valuations and have seen their stock prices erode after listing.Enel Green Power which was the biggest Green Utility to IPO in 2010 managed to to so after massive delays and lowering its stock price 2 times.Orient Green Power in Indian and First Wind Holdings of USA which were pureplay Green Utilities also saw very tough times with First Wind being forced to scrap its capital raising plans.China’s Datang and Huaneng Group which were planning to list their Green Subsidiaries in Hong Kong for a long time faced a big question as well.Both these large state owned utilities have huge wind power assets which are forecast to grow at a tremendous rate over the next decade.The prospects are good for both these green utilities as wind turbine prices have been falling as a result of sharp competition amongst WTG companies in China such as Ming Yang Power.
Japan has been desperately looking for Rare Earth Resources after China used its monopolistic position to embargo the supply of REE to Japan.Sojitz has signed a supply deal with new Australian REE developer Lynas while Toshiba is looking to set up a plant in India to mine Rare Metals from the monazite sands of the defunct REE extraction plant in Orissa.Sumitomo the Japanese trading giant too is rumored to be picking up a stake in US REE company Molycorp which expects to soon start its California mine which was shuttered a decade ago after China’s low prices bankrupted the REE producers all over the world
Russia huge huge wind and solar energy resources with gigawatts of potential.It also has great geothermal energy resources as well however most of them are not developed at all.There is no significant support for Renewable Energy Resource as well with Green Energy capacity in low double digits (15 MW of Wind in 2006).With Putin calling Wind Turbine hazardous to birds and causing Environmental Problems,It looks like Russian Leadership will not change its Fossil Fuel Centric Policy any time soon.While Middle East Countries are dead against Climate Change efforts,they are developing Nuclear Energy and some Renewable Energy for exporting more Energy.However Russia does not even want to do that despite being a leader in Nuclear Energy.