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Posts Tagged ‘environmental economics’

China leading the way in all aspects of clean energy development

August 14, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s a topic I’ve touched on before, and it’s not getting any better for the United States:

U.S. venture capital investors in new energy technologies are beginning to groom their portfolio companies for increased business in China, given favorable government policies and more availability of capital.

Many U.S. clean technology companies already rely on Chinese manufacturers for their component parts. Now, investors said, U.S. companies are turning to China for capital as well.

“The funding crunch in the U.S. is really severe,” said Jiang Xiaodong, a managing director with New Enterprise Associates and head of the firm’s operations in China. “And a lot of the Chinese companies that are listed on the SME [board of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange] exchange and on ChiNext raised a lot of money and now they want to spend it in a way that gives them access to technology and future growth opportunities.”

[…]

Earlier this year, Tucker, Ga.-based Coaltek Inc. partnered with Guangdong Yi Jian Investment Co. to build a 10 million-metric-ton per year coal-treatment facility, which uses the company’s technology to turn low-grade coal into a higher burning, more powerful and less-polluting fuel. They’re building a plant together in Inner Mongolia that will ultimately cost $250 million.

Coaltek’s investors see similar opportunities with other companies in their portfolio. “We’re looking at things that have been developed [in the U.S.], but are not really ramping because of the availability of capital,” said Michel J. Maloof III, a principal with Braemar Energy Ventures, which has been an investor in Coaltek since the company’s first round.

This is all food for thought when we consider that our government is considerably anti-capital and anti-business.  Sure, the president will tap dance for a photo-op at a plant that makes batteries for electric cars.  But his people will make sure that said plant will operate only with the benefit of union workers.  Anything less is not a viable option.  Costs increase, regulatory requirements become more and more onerous and, as I noted previously, the US prices itself out of the market for innovation and capital that are necessary to develop a significant market presence.

The left loves to decry capitalists, capitalism and profits for shareholders.  At the same time, they also genuflect before the altar of progressive utopianism when it comes to alternative energy. 

They want their wind turbines, but crap on those who want to make it a profitable enterprise.  Flushing money down a toilet is not a way towards energy independence, and government will not provide solutions brought down from the clouds on a magical unicorn.  You can’t have it both ways.

Energy Dept. waives “Buy American” clause on green energy stimulus projects

March 7, 2010 Leave a comment

When it comes to green energy and production in the United States, Democrats are absolutely clueless:

A group of Democratic senators called Wednesday for the government to halt a federal stimulus program aimed at building wind farms and other clean-energy projects, arguing that too much of the money spent so far has gone to create jobs overseas.

[…]

Joined by Sens. Robert P. Casey Jr. (Pa.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Jon Tester (Mont.), Schumer said at a news conference that the Obama administration has ignored concerns about foreign involvement in the clean-energy program and should halt funding until Congress can pass legislation to deal with the problem.

Schumer and the other lawmakers focused particular criticism at Cielo Wind Power of Austin, which has said it may apply for up to $450 million in stimulus funding for a massive wind farm that would be powered by turbines built in China.

“It is a no-brainer that stimulus funds should only go to projects that create jobs in the United States rather than overseas,” Schumer said. “These wind projects have a lot of merit, but the manufacturing should be happening here, not in China.”

[…] Obama administration officials and wind-energy industry representatives said that the complaints are misguided and based on faulty information, and they sharply disputed an American University study cited by the senators, which estimated that up to 80 percent of stimulus money spent on wind turbines so far had gone to foreign companies.

The administration says the complaints are misguided?  Really?  Maybe not:

The Department of Energy has waived a “buy American” requirement for government projects receiving money from last year’s stimulus bill so that recipients can purchase energy-efficient lighting products for public buildings and roadways.

The department issued the waiver after determining that products like compact fluorescent light bulbs and traffic signals made with light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are manufactured almost exclusively in China and Mexico.

[…]

About $6.3 billion from the stimulus bill, also known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is being distributed by the department’s office of energy efficiency for state and local energy programs.

But the lack of domestic-made lighting products “is currently impeding the progress of numerous Recovery Act projects” receiving funds from the agency, Ms. Zoi noted.

I would venture to say that the Obama administration is, in fact, that ignorant about the green economy, that they don’t even realize that a domestic-based product line doesn’t even exist.  These are the people who want to take over healthcare. 

Democrats are clueless because the “Buy American” cry rings very delusional when confronted with the economic reality.  The reality being that the United States operates at a severe competitive disadvantage when it comes to production of clean energy infrastructure.  And I’m sure labor costs are a big part of the problem. 

But Democrats will continue to blow the “Buy Products Made Exclusively By Unions American” whistle, to the detriment of our economy and most Americans that don’t contribute to Democratic political campaigns.

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