Using the same logic,I had questioned the massive amount of USA taxpayer money being given as a cash grant to build almost 4-5 GW of Solar Thermal Plants in California.Most of these solar thermal projects were approved in the last 6 months of 2010 so that they could be eligible for the Treasury Cash Grant under Rule 1603.I seem to have been vindicated quite early with 2 of these giant solar thermal projects being developed by Tessera Solar have run into trouble.The CEO of the company has already left and many of the employees have been fired.Strange for a company that has won multi billion projects in hand.The parent Irish company NTR is reportedly looking to shelve the plants as it does not have enough money for 5% of the total project costs required before 2010 end.
Taiwan which had set a cap restricted solar feed in tariff program in 2009 is set to change the subsidies to reflect the decreasing costs of solar energy.Note Taiwan is one of the biggest solar cell producers in the world,next only to China.A number of its world class companies like TSMC and AUO have made major investments into solar energy recently.It already has big pureplay solar cells companies with Gintech and Motech amongst the top 10 world solar cell producing companies.A big domestic market is a good testing ground for new companies and technologies.Taiwan is now set to change renewable energy subsidies for wind and solar energy.Solar Energy subsidy for 2011 will be lowered while for wind energy it will be increased.Renewable Energy in Taiwan – Feed in Tariffs Wind to be strangely Increased while for Solar Sensibly Decreased
Japan and China has suffered from perhaps the most tense relationships with the Japanese occupation of Chinese territory during World War 2.China recently embargoed the export of crucial rare earth minerals in which it has a virtual monopoly causing great distress amongst Japanese administrators.China’s military has started to become more and more sophisticated with China even now becoming an arms exporter of low tech weapons.With growth in Chinese economy,the technology sophistication of Chinese weapons systems has also grown.Close relations between China and Russia have also led to sale of front-line weapons systems such as the Sukhoi 35 fighters to China.It is no wonder that Japan is started to reorient its Defence towards China from Russia.Greater emphasis is being placed on the Air Force and Navy rather than on the Army.Note Japan is protected by the US Nuclear Umbrella and has US Forces stationed on its soil.However,declining USA military power (bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan) has made Japan beef up its own defences.Note India too has strengthened its border forces with China stationing new fighter squadrons in the Himalayan region.
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.
Carbon Emissions Trading has always had profiteering built into it as private companies try to game a government regulated system for reducing GHG emissions.Carbon Trading which came into being after the birth of the Kyoto Protocol has got a lot of consultants and investment banks involved.While many of the schemes to earn carbon credits seem unethical they are not illegal.However a number of frauds have been unearthed in Europe which is the ground zero for Emissions Trading.The number of frauds have only increased since then with Italy suspending trading and 1.6 million carbon credits stolen from a Romanian carbon registry.The complexity and information asymmetry has always put the insiders in an advantageous position.The red tape and bureaucracy associated with the Carbon Trading Scheme ensures that common people and small business cannot take advantage of the carbon reduction scheme.
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