Constellation Energy has become the latest USA Utility to cancel its proposed new nuclear energy plant to be built in Maryland.Despite a Loan Guarantee from Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the US Green Stimulus,Constellation has found the economics of the Nuclear Reactors as unworkable.In fact this is keeping with the trend of other utilities in the Developed World who have found New Nuclear to be too expensive.While a number of cyclical factors are at play (Wind Energy has also been affected) in hindering the development of these plants,it seems a secular shift has occured.Finland has become the poster boy of a Nuclear Project Disaster with the main developer Areva bleeding from losses as time and cost overruns have almost doubled.The increaseing costs of environment and safety regulations has increase manifold since the last spurt of nuclear energy construction in the 1980s.The Nuclear Renaissance has proven to be a complete failure in the Western Countries.While China continues with its aggressive Nuclear Expansion plans,construction in the US has come to a virtual halt.Exelon which is the largest Nuclear Energy Operator in the USA has also halted developed of 2 new reactors in Texas.These Utilities have said that they need much higher energy prices and a carbon tax before going ahead with reaction construction.Note Exelon recently bought a Wind Energy Operator as Solar/Wind become the favored Green Energy choices.
A US expert has said that India was the target of the Stuxnet Attack rather than Iran.India’s Insat 4B Communications Satellite suffered from a malfunction recently and it used the same Siemens software which was the target of this Worm Attack.India has been subject to Chinese cyberwarfare attacks in the past .This has led to a general wariness in the Indian Establishment over Chinese origin companies like Huawei operating in India.Tensions between Indian and China have been rising over a range of issues such as territory,supply of arms and nuclear reactors to Pakistan and construction of military bases around India.The failure of an Indian Communications Satellite without any explicit attack done surreptitiously by Chinese hackers does not seem far fetched.Nothing would be clearly known to the general public given the clandestine nature of these cyberwarfare between nation states.However India’s decision to bolster its cyberwarfare capabilities and the recent decision by Google to abandon China,all point to China using cyberattacks as an instrument of statecraft.
Mazda the Japanese Automobile Producer has decided to double the R&D spending on EcoFriendly Vehicles over the next 5 years.The Company has decided to up the percentage spend on Green Automobile Technology to 40% by 2015 from 20% at present.This implies almost $450 million in annual R&D spend on Hybrid and Electric Vehicles.Mazda has been a latecomer to the new generation Green Automobiles.Like Honda,Mazda trails Toyota and Nissan in the EV and Hybrid Car Technology.
Mazda has already tied up with Toyota to fast track the development of Hybrid Vehicles,the first one which it plans to introduce by 2013.Note Honda and Toyota have already introduced Hybrid Cars and Mazda will face tough competition as it is a latecomer to the Hybrid Party.Other AutoMakers around the world like Hyundai,GM,Ford,Geely,BYD are already well on the way to introducing Green Cars.
Northrop Grumman the US Defense Giant and the largest US Shipbuilder as well is entering the Offshore Wind Energy Field.With Cape Cod very near to receiving the final approvals for setting up the first Offshore Wind Farm in the USA,Northrop sees a good opportunity.Shipbuilders around the world have recently entered the growing Green Sector of Offshore Wind.Korean Shipbuilders like Hyundai,Samsung have already set up Wind Turbine plants.Northrop on the other hand will team up with Gamesa to explore the Wind Energy field in the United States.Note Shipbuilding Industry is facing tough times with overcapacity and competition from Asian Players.Its critical for shipbuilders to look for newer greener pastures and Offshore Wind Energy is the best positioned space for them.It requires heavy industrial engineering and offshore operations both of which at shipbuilders excel at.
Japan is now looking to develop mines in Vietnam and Kazakhstan to secure these minerals which are essential to the green and defence industries.The desperation seems high amongst the Japanese as they are also looking to prospect for these minerals in the seas surrounding Japan.Besides these efforts to secure these minerals from newer sources,METI is also looking to recycling and efficiency measures.The Government will set up reprocessing plants in Japan in order to reduce dependence as well as invest in newer methods and processes to increase the efficiency of the usage of these Rare Earth Minerals.While the embargo seems to have eased with reports that the Chinese have allowed one ship with Rare Earth Minerals to proceed to Japan,the future seems uncertain.Lynas Corp ,the Australian Rare Earth Miner which is going to start production in 2011 has said that it has got a Japanese customer for its products.
General Electric being Smart in its Chinese Expansion
General Electric is looking to Invest Heavily in the new Age Green Industry like other Industrial Giants like Siemens,ABB etc.Having a Local Partner is a Huge Advantage since almost the whole of the Chinese Wind Industry is controlled by Chinese SOEs who favor local companies over foreign ones.EU and Japan have protested against discrimination over their domestic firms but not to much avail.GE is trying to circumvent the Discrimination Problem by giving a majority stake of 51% to Harbin Electric Machinery (HEC).However the Going will not be Easy for GE which is a Global Wind Market Leader because Competition is intensifying in the Chinese Market.Ming Yang Wind Power is looking to expand six fold to take advantage of the Growth in Chinese Wind Energy.Other Companies are doing the same.