Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Solar power - US vs China

Solar energy industry is currently the fastest growing industry in the world, and the most rapidly changing renewable energy sector, where all big countries of the world tend to have their say as much as possible. The economic rivalry between The United States and China has also spread on solar power, and there is an ongoing battle for supremacy in this energy market between these two countries

It has been reported that the United States will likely try to work out a deal that would end ongoing disputes over trade in solar energy products. The European Union already threaten China by saying it would hit back at Chinese solar energy manufacturers for dumping their solar energy products in the European market.

The US did the similar move by the U.S. Commerce Department last year and a senior White House official testified last week that trade policies between countries can only work if they're fair to both countries. The China and the United States are still debating how to best accommodate the other's claims to power, though it seems that the White House may have a few aces up its sleeve to resolve issues related to global renewable energy and trade issues, especially in relation with EU energy policies.

European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht has recently complained that Chinese solar panels were sold on the European market below cost on dumping prices which was giving Chinese manufacturers an unfair advantage over the European solar manufacturing companies. In order to counterattack these dumping prices, the EU announced it would impose an 11 percent duty on Chinese solar panel imports. If China still fails to reach a compromise that duty could increase to more than 47 percent by the August.

It is a well known fact that China dominates the global energy market in terms of production of solar panels. The total exports of Chinese solar panels to the European market in 2011, the last year for which information is available, totaled more than $27 billion dollars. Last year, the U.S. Commerce Department targeted Chinese solar manufactures in one of the largest anti-dumping initiatives in U.S. history to protect its solar energy market.  In the United States, China is major player by dominating the solar cell market, with about $3.1 billion worth of goods being imported in 2012.

The Chinese government considers the renewable energy sector, solar power in particular, to be a vital component of its domination in clean energy race. The battle for supremacy on global clean energy market is becoming tenser with each new day, and there still doesn't seem to be the will between all the parties to reach a satisfying agreement as all involved tend to achieve the best possible position on global renewable energy map. Whether there is enough room for both China and United States on top of the hill in terms of renewable energy still remains to be seen. The new trade laws will certainly set the tone, at least short-term speaking.

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