China has recently put increased scrutiny and control over the mining,smelting and export of important minerals like tungsten and rare earth oxides.Note mining in China often takes place illegaly without any regard to environment in quest for a quick buck.Japan which is the largest importer of rare earth oxides from China gets most of its demand met through illegal mining.However China has cracked down on this practise as it regards these minerals like tungsten,iron,rare earth,antimony and molybdenum as important for national goals.China has severely curtailed the exports of rare earth exports leading to a sharp rise in rare earth prices and stocks of rare earth companies.This has sparked concern in developed countries and blocks like EU,Japan and USA which has taken the case to the WTO.
Solar Carports are a relatively new Solar Energy Product compared to other Solar Products like Solar Heaters and Solar Cooking.Solar Carports are fast catching on as their dual use of protecting,shading a car as well as providing electricity to nearby offices and buildings.It makes use of real estate that would go waste so it provides a lot of value add besides helping in protecting the environment as well.
Note none of the Indian automakers has a decent EV or a Hybrid selling in the Indian market.Foreign markets on the other had are seeing fierce competition amongst major auto makers to gain a first mover advantage.GM,Nissan,Toyota are the leader in this market with other car makers also in the process of getting in.Hectic alliances and JVs are being forged as this market segment promises to be the fastest growing as the governments give massive subsidies and push.It remains to be seen whether the government in India can push given its record.
India’s Transport Policy is an unmitigated disaster with traffic congestion frequently killing people.The lack of roads and traffic planning has made transport in Indian cities a daily monstrous headache for commuters.The use of modern transport which does not cause pollution and reduces congestion is the need of the hour.The government seems to be moving slowly in that direction.While MNRE had announced a capital subsidy for Green Transport earlier,the Finance Minister cut excise and custom duties on Green Vehicles as well.India’s Union Budget did not have much for the Green Industry except a piffling Rs 200 crore fund for the environment and the cuts of duties for EVs.
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
Renewable Energy has faced a very bad year in 2010 at least in terms of stock prices.The failure of the Copenhagen Climate Meet in 2009 and the complete indifference towards the Cancun Meet in Mexico has made the Green Energy Sector one of the worst performing ones.Wind Energy has been the worst hit with falling gas prices and falling subsidies with USA and Europe the worst hit.Other sectors like Solar Energy and Biofuels have not got much love from the markets either.In fact major financial insitutions have sharply reduced their Renewable Energy Holdings with Short Interest Rising to a Record High amongst Green Companies like American Semiconductor,Jinko Solar etc.However despite the ascendancy of the Republicans in USA and the cold shoulder given to climate and energy bill,this might mark a bottom for Renewable Energy