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Solar Panel Trade War Heats Up

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the remember-to-only-accept-domestic-subsidies dept.

Power 232

Hugh Pickens writes "Reuters reports that Chinese solar companies could soon find themselves bereft of some of their biggest foreign markets as Western manufacturers intensify a solar trade war and seek stiff anti-dumping duties on low-cost Chinese products. German group SolarWorld says it is working on steps to curb alleged price dumping by Chinese rivals in Europe as a group of seven U.S. solar companies urges the U.S. government to slap anti-dumping duties on Chinese-made solar energy products. Western solar companies have been at odds with their Chinese counterparts for years, alleging they receive lavish credit lines to offer modules at cheaper prices. 'American solar operations should be rapidly expanding to keep pace with the skyrocketing demand for these products,' says Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon whose office authored a whitepaper called 'China's Grab for Green Jobs.' (PDF) 'But that is not what has been happening. There seems to be one primary explanation for this; that is, that China is cheating.'"

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232 comments

Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815524)

And China was cheating no doubt with making cheap Reeboks and Nike's and stuff for US multinationals... Oh yeah, sorry, forgot. Those were US owned Multinationals getting all the profit then.

I guess the difference between dumping and competing is whether you're ripping off the consumer and greedy multinational corporations are soaking up all those tax-free dollars or not.

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (1)

pinfall (2430412) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815574)

You can always tell who is cheating at a game of poker. If your pile of chips is the smallest then everyone is cheating.

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (5, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815580)

Pretty much. Japan had very similar policies in the 60s and 70s, but didn't have any pressure placed on it until the 80s after Japan decided to cut the western CEOs out of the profit loop entirely and sell direct to consumers. When it was just regular people losing their jobs, politicians didn't do much other than pay some obligatory lip service. However, as soon as the CEOs started to get cut out of the loop, the ostensibly pro "free-trade" Republicans were more than willing to slap sanctions on Japan and put immense pressure on them to appreciate their currency.

Now compare the situation with Japan in the 80s to modern-day China. While a lot of the trade restrictions and currency manipulations are the same, one major difference is that there are very, very few Chinese companies selling directly to western consumers. Off the top of my head I can think of 3 Chinese companies with any sort of real presence in the western market, Lenovo, Haier, and Huawei, and of those only Lenovo is anywhere near the top of their respective markets. However I can think of at least a dozen Japanese companies who do so, Sony, Nintendo, Toshiba, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Panasonic, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Sharp, and Olympus, and I'm missing a ton I'm sure.

I think China has intentionally discouraged it's companies from selling directly to the west, at least in large numbers, specifically to prevent what happened to Japan from happening to them. They realize that in order to keep exporting massive amounts of goods to the US, they need to make sure the people who really call the shots, the executives, stay well-paid.....

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816240)

ZTE. They now sell cellphones here in the US. They also sell other telecom equipment in China such as IPTV routers for home entertainment as well.

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (4, Interesting)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816284)

Well what Japan did was they basically reduced prices by absorbing a lot of the production costs through interest free loans, which were given through banks and in turn approved by the government. That's another way of saying the Japanese government gave money to companies to produce superior products and cheaper prices than their competitors could in a "fair" market. For example each roll of Fujifilm film was cheaper than Kodak yet the film grade was higher. Why do this? Well, Kodak almost went bankrupt and that would have left Fujifilm the only real film supplier in the world, with a trusted name and a global following of people who equate film to Fujifilm as tissues are to Kleenex. From that point the price would increase, but even rising up to the price Kodak was running at they would have close to 100% of the market so profits would have been guaranteed.

Thing is Kodak complained, as did a lot of other companies that were being crushed, and then all the sudden the Japanese were doing something "unfair". Weather or not it's really unfair to do that is sort of a funny issue - the government is basically backing loans with tax money, making a bet that they can push their national industries into absolute and controlling positions in the global market and thusly gaining a greater sum economic return. That's pretty risky and pretty dynamic, but had foreign governments not stepped in a bitched about it it would have worked and nobody would remember the companies Kodak et.all ever existed.

China on the other hand is doing something a bit different. In the case of solar panels for example they are restricting exports of vital production materials while washing the prices down for national producers. They may well be able to pull it off as well - even if global governments bitch and scream and make up new rules China still has a lot of options on the table to drive down prices and their economy is so massive and so based on nonsense bullshit, not to mention they're not afraid of turning the rich among their population into dirt farmers, that they will make any move they feel necessary with little hesitation.

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (2)

Ixne (599904) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815640)

It seems as if you're not taking into account the subsidization by the Chinese government that takes place so that Chinese products almost always undercut domestic-made products in price, driving domestic companies out of business. It's one thing to "compete" on product quality; it's another to simply flood the market with subsidized waste.

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815796)

Capitalism sucks when the other guys outcompete you, doesn't it?
Since many companies in China are state-owned, you cannot call it a subsidy. It's more like moving money from one department to another. Companies do that all the time. And you can accuse the Chinese of many things, but on the US market, they compete simply by price, as the system was intended.

And anyway, it's not as if Western countries never dump anything in other countries. http://www.oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/?p=3303 [oxfamblogs.org]

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816162)

There's capitalism and then there is "crony capitalism" where governments tilt the playing field. There's a huge difference between the two.

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (4, Insightful)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816374)

they compete simply by price

By simple, do you mean saving money by slave wages, no human rights, and abhorrent environmental policies and passing the savings on to the buyer?

We should have heavy tariffs on everything from China until they clean up their act.

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (4, Interesting)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816134)

The Chinese government actually subsidizes very few industries - unless you count pegging the currency against the dollar, which is another issue. The real reason Chinese goods are cheaper is that the average Chinese factory worker gets paid about $200 a week for around 100 hours of work. That's $0.50 an hour. That kind of price advantage is enough to ensure dominance in most fields of manufacturing.

There is also an important reason why China wants to promote the solar industry - the sustainable energy industry is of strategic importance to the Chinese. By 2015, 70% of China's oil imports will come from the Middle East oil - a region where U.S. interests have historically been dominant and where China has had no long-standing strategic interests. Simply put, the Chinese want to avoid becoming overly reliant on oil supplies from governments that are allied with the U.S..

This article [hotair.com] makes an obvious point regarding government subsidies: "China floated $30 billion in subsidies to its solar sector? Wow, that’s so totally unfair. Why, the US would never stand for such a thing! That’s why Obama included almost $40 billion in green-sector subsidies as part of his 2009 Porkulus package, of which $17 billion has already been spent. And let’s not forget that over a half-billion dollars of that money got spent specifically on Solyndra alone." So, subsidies are okay when the U.S. does it, but bad when China does it?

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (2)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815664)

China has no floating currency, they are literally printing money and subside heavily their manufacturers to undercut western producers. Those Germans see that right, China's goal is to establish themselves here and to eliminate our locals, this is not about making a profit. Get a clue.

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (2, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815848)

they [China] are literally printing money and subside heavily their manufacturers

And how is that different from the US?

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (4, Insightful)

jbengt (874751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816048)

And how is that different from the US?

US currency value is determined on the open market.
Chinese currency is not.

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (1)

alexhard (778254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816222)

...and said open market is manipulated by the U.S. government. A big part of the positive effect of QE is because it acts as beggar-thy-neighbor currency devaluation.

Re:Yeah... Cheating... Sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815670)

I don't care whether China is cheating or dumping.

What really incenses me is the astonishing disregard you have for the rules governing the use of the apostrophe. How can you? And in the same sentence!

At least your you're was right.

Amusing. Americans think the enemy is over there. (2)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815758)

And are only just starting after 40 years to wake up to the fact that the enemy is over here not there, and usually has the title "leader".

Example:
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cid=N00009638 [opensecrets.org]

Guess that 1 million has been paid back several hundred thousand times.
 

Re:Amusing. Americans think the enemy is over ther (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816024)

What interests me about that Goldman Sachs figure is that there are only 4 factors.

And 2 of them are prime! 3 and 337697.

Re:Amusing. Americans think the enemy is over ther (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816046)

On May 2nd, 1933, the day after Labor day, Nazi groups occupied union halls and labor leaders were arrested. Trade Unions were outlawed by Adolf Hitler, while collective bargaining and the right to strike was abolished.

Lenin, at the behest of Stalin and Trotsky, banned trade unions in favor of "total government union." Stalin followed this up by increasingly draconian laws that docked a worker 25% of a day's pay for being a mere 20 minutes late to work, and imposed prison sentences for anyone who attempted to quit their assigned job. [cyberussr.com]

Chairman Mao eliminated trade unions, in a move very reminiscent of Stalin. More recently, China created the "All China Federation of Trade Unions", a front organization whose primary purpose is to serve as an enforcement arm of the Chinese Communist Party. No actual trade unions or labor bargaining are allowed to exist.

In 2011, in multiple states in the US, the Republican Party... abolished unions.

Re:Amusing. Americans think the enemy is over ther (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816076)

Well stated. Wish I had the modpoints, I'd give you one.

Explanation is clear (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815526)

There seems to be one primary explanation for this; that is, that China is cheating.

No, the primary explanation is that the US is hostile business, with excessive health and safety and environmental regulations and an insanely high minimum wage. Want to compete with China and get American industry back on track? Repeal regulations and bring salaries below $6/hour.

Re:Explanation is clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815558)

$6/hour? They should work for free and be lucky they get food! Now get to work, slave!

Re:Explanation is clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815560)

LOL

The 1960s wants you to get off their lawn.

Re:Explanation is clear (1)

DancesWithRobots (903395) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815568)

There seems to be one primary explanation for this; that is, that China is cheating.

No, the primary explanation is that the US is hostile business, with excessive health and safety and environmental regulations and an insanely high minimum wage. Want to compete with China and get American industry back on track? Repeal regulations and bring salaries below $6/hour.

Great idea! Then the workers can be kept in factory dormitories and piss in holes in the floor like they do in Chinese factories!

Re:Explanation is clear (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815576)

"Great idea! Then the workers can be kept in factory dormitories and piss in holes in the floor like they do in Chinese factories!"

Which is pretty much what OWS is doing now.

Re:Explanation is clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815682)

Labor is only 10% of the cost. So lowering minimum wage to that level may potentially save a few percentage points at most. This approach is being an asshole just to be an asshole. Destroy America to save America.

Cut back on payment to unearned income and top brass and you have your self an efficient and competitive operation!

Re:Explanation is clear (5, Interesting)

Rakshasa-sensei (533725) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815786)

If they are excessive... How come Germany and the rest of Norther Europe is doing so damn well?

One of the secrets is the universal health care and other social programs, which in fact reduce the overall cost of employment in society by making employees more efficient and cutting out parasites like health insurance companies. (Healthcare cost is 6-8% versus 17% in the US, and there's no 'insurance' companies taking 30% cut in pure profits out of healthcare spending)

Re:Explanation is clear (3, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816086)

Hey, keep your damn logic out of this, universal health care and social programs will turn any country into the USSR and you know it!

Re:Explanation is clear (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815832)

Environmental regulation is a favorite whipping boy of the "pro-business" crowd; but how can slashing restrictions on my ability to impose externalities by chemical means(some irksome, some lethal) on you in the pursuit of profit possibly be justified either ethically or from a 'sanctity of private property' stance?

Other than being done by respectable guys in suits, rather than unlikeable scum, polluting for profit is the approximate ethical and economic equivalent of picking pockets for profit: somebody ends up with a tidy black balance sheet to show for it; but they leave a whole lot of people in the red, without even the pretense of their consent.

It's their bafflingly unwavering support for such policies that makes me suspect most "libertarians" of being nothing more than corporatist shills. Step one to defending "Life, Liberty, and Property" is not, in fact, giving others the right to emit whatever exotic nasties they find profitable to dispose of into your body and/or property...

Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815540)

US industry wants to make 100% profit while spending nothing on infrastructure, just money on lawyers and campaign contributions. Those wily Chinese, with their lower (but positive) profits and poor quality control are stealing our market!

What is good for the consumer? (3, Insightful)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815544)

We are all producers and consumers. As producers we want our products to be rare and expensive. As consumers we want our products to be plentiful and cheap. You have to decide what type of world you want to live in. One that has plenty of inexpensive things or a few expensive things. I'll take cheap and plentiful.

Let's say the Chinese decided that the US was too dependent on foreign oil and as a buddy they wanted to supply us with free solar panels. As much as they could make. Would this be a good thing or bad thing? For consumers it would be great but for producers of solar panels it would be terrible. To have progress as a society you have to let consumers rule.

Re:What is good for the consumer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815588)

To have progress as a society you have to let consumers rule

You are joking right?

That is not progress. Good God! No wonder the USA is Phuqued if that is the standard attitude.

Societal Progress has absolutely NOTHING to do with consumption of 'stuff''.

Re:What is good for the consumer? (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815634)

"Societal Progress has absolutely NOTHING to do with consumption of 'stuff''."

And how did you manage to write this? Did you use your telekinesis powers to flip bits on the server?

Re:What is good for the consumer? (2)

spectral7 (2030164) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815610)

It's not about what's good for the consumer, it's about what's good for non-Chinese economies. China did the same thing with rare earths – undercut all competitors and eventually produce more than 90% of the world's rare earth supply. Then they used that to control prices and where the refining and production takes place (hint: not anywhere overseas). They basically control the high-tech economy and wind turbine production (which need rare earth magnets). Who wants that for soloar panels too?

Re:What is good for the consumer? (1)

Ixne (599904) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815676)

To some degree this is correct; however when you let Cheap and Plentiful run rampant you get what you have now -- everything made to last for about a year, landfills full of cellphones and similar that will be intact a thousand years from now, etc. Our planet simply can't sustain that kind of mentality.

Re:What is good for the consumer? (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815734)

It depends on what you are talking about. I own a straight razor that should last the rest of my life. I am happy using it and I don't see a need to ever want a new one.

But in year my cell phone will be outdated. Why spend the time and money to make one last 10 years?

As for landfills think of them as mines. We are returning materials to the earth. If those materials ever get very expensive to find in nature we can dig up the landfills. Besides in the next 20 years or so we will have advanced waste processing like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_arc_waste_disposal [wikipedia.org] so that we will recycle everything by default because it is economic to do so and not as a jobs program as it currently exists.

Cheap...Re:What is good for the consumer? (1)

moj0joj0 (1119977) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815722)

I'll take cheap and plentiful.

So long as by cheap you mean poor quality. Because if that is what you mean, then china sounds to have met your expectation.

Personally, I'll take decent quality and plentiful.

Re:What is good for the consumer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815738)

You assume people make decisions based on the best option available (i.e. make decisions based on utils), however this does not exist outside of the classroom. In the real world, depending on slave labor lowers wages effectively destroying the class of people that would buy the product (see: America, circa 2011)

Re:What is good for the consumer? (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815992)

You didn't RTFA I presume. The article doesn't talk about competition, it warns about dumping, i.e. saturating the market with far lower than market-priced products so as to inhibit or destroy competition. You may like the cheap prices now, but the ultimate result is that one or very few companies will control the market in the future if this is allowed.

Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815552)

I thought "the invisible hand of the market" was supposed to make things work. How does "cheating" occur? Can somebody explain to me what "cheating" means in this context?

Isn't this an element of the free market (if one supplier decides it is worth subsidising their product to build market share, or pay its workers less)? Or does the "free market" assume no government intervention - which I can't see ever being the case, there have been "governments" as long as there have been markets, at least for the last 5000 years anyway, no period in that time where there haven't been governments in existence somewhere in the world (and therefore affecting markets).

If this is "cheating" , could somebody point me to the guidebook that tells me what is considered fair and what is considered cheating in the world of free markets, and crucially, who enforces the guidebook of rules?

I might be naive, and please educate me here, but I would have assumed this behaviour is part of markets and how they work, rather than external to markets (therefore considered not playing the game properly). Hence not cheating, but just part of what happens?

thanks! (really must do an economics course sometime, it's all very confusing to me).

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815586)

Anti-dumping duties are just protectionism by local governments. Of course it interferes with the global free-market.

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (2, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815678)

How does "cheating" occur? Can somebody explain to me what "cheating" means in this context?

There is no free market, don't be confused by thinking about it. Its simply not relevant.

The Chinese government hands cash to their panel manufacturers to lower their prices so they can put our manufacturers out of business. Then they have two options, they can go the "home appliance route" and make money bu cutting quality so we have to replace our panels every two years, just like Chinese dish washing machines. We'll buy replacements for our broken panels a couple times because it must just be bad luck that they fall apart in 2 years instead of 20, but eventually give up. The other option is explode prices upward, because the capital cost of setting up a competitor is very high and takes a long time, and our government will not help our manufacturers in fact it will stand in the way whenever possible, and finally if we built a plant to sell cheap panels the Chinese govt would merely repeat the same trick, hand cash to their manufacturers to undercut the prices of our new plant, and put our new plant out of business, at which time they can charge whatever they want again.

The USA problem is we think we are human beings and Chinese are not human beings they are just the yellow hordes or whatever subhuman description you'd like. We do not allow panels to be sold here if they were made in the US and toxic waste was dumped into USA drinking water, USA rivers, USA farm fields, etc, because we are civilized humans (mostly) and humans should not have to live in a toxic dump. But the Chinese are not humans, so if we buy panels from people who dump toxic waste into the environment, that is OK with us, because they are just animals. Turns out that proper waste disposal is so expensive that its an economic non-starter to buy American instead of cheap Chinese. I'm not saying I agree with any of it, I'm just clarifying that the only reason we allow it is the US is a profoundly racist country.

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (0, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815890)

I'm just clarifying that the only reason we allow it is the US is a profoundly racist country.

And I'm just clarifying that you are fucking full of shit. Y'know?

The other option is explode prices upward, because the capital cost of setting up a competitor is very high and takes a long time, and our government will not help our manufacturers in fact it will stand in the way whenever possible, and finally if we built a plant to sell cheap panels the Chinese govt would merely repeat the same trick, hand cash to their manufacturers to undercut the prices of our new plant, and put our new plant out of business, at which time they can charge whatever they want again.

Which is in essence what the complaint is about. The Chinese government is not playing by the same rules the rest of the world is playing by. The entire problem of the "non-protectionist" bullcrap arguments is that they assume that all countries are playing by the same rules - e.g. that all nations involved in trade have relatively equivalent standards for worker protection, environmental protection, and product safety. Meanwhile, the Chinese communist government creates nothing of real value, produces vast quantities of unsafe, dangerous knockoff crap from stolen designs, and treats 90% of their population as slave classes. One great example: a "landmark study" on enforced "vegan" nutrient-poor diets was recently done in China by a US-based "useful idiot" academic. Why do it in China? The Chinese government has laws preventing their slave classes from moving between villages and absolutely no Human Subjects regulations.

The USA problem is we think we are human beings and Chinese are not human beings they are just the yellow hordes or whatever subhuman description you'd like.

No, actually, the problem is that most people don't even know what goes into MAKING most of the products they use today. For instance, food [fbcdn.net] . It has nothing to do with racism, it has nothing to do with hate, it's just a simple fact that most people don't consider anything beyond the point where they saw product X on the store shelves.

You want to talk economics? Fine, let's talk economics. But kindly get your head out of your ass and stop assuming that everything in the world is a product of "racism."

Incidentally: nobody in the USA refers to "the USA problem." It'd be "America's problem." My guess is, you're probably from some communist dipshit country where you get force-fed a diet of "USA bad, evil whiteys racist, they want to take over the world and depose your Glorious Leader" bullshit.

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816404)

Which is in essence what the complaint is about. The Chinese government is not playing by the same rules the rest of the world is playing by.

This complaint is about the Chinese investing $30 billion in solar energy subsidies. How much have Germany and the U.S. invested in green energy subsidies? More in absolute terms, much more in per-capita terms (but, interestingly, still less than the subsidies for oil [grist.org] or nuclear power [earthtrack.net] ).

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815960)

The Chinese government hands cash to their panel manufacturers

Right. Let me stop you there because you have no idea what you are talking about. The majority of funding in China is through the CDB loan financing. Now explain please, how Chinese CDB loan guarantees any different than US DOE guarantees (e.g. Solandra, First Solar, SunPower) except the magnitude? They aren't different. Not to mention that about 90% of CDB loan guarantees have not been used yet because they are explicitly for projects financing (e.g capital for PV parks), an area where Chinese PV firms are still way behind their western counterparts.

Chinese firms have primarily expanded using private money based on share offerings in the U.S. markets, secondary offerings, and bond offerings and the US and Chinese markets. The Chinese have spent billions in private financing over the past 4-6 yr. increasing output, The newest Chinese facilities are driving down prices

Chinese got into PV with newer and cheaper (American and German) equipment and they have more recent land & tax deals with local governments (e.g. Evergreen solar, First Solar) . That's it. U.S. firms are crying because a third of Chinese capacity of c-Si PV can run a profit at an unsubsidized price of 1.00 $/pW. There are plenty of Chinese whining too. Guess what is happening to the whiners? They are done. Some are dumping inventory on their way out the door, depressing prices slightly more in the short run. Out-competed. Destructive capitalism. Much like the entire fraudulent U.S economy.

  This ridiculous argument about quality is always the losers last appeal. Chinese Tier 1 produces can match any western mfging quality. Highest quality poly panels are sourced entirely from Chinese/Taiwanese owned Taiwanese polysilicon and mainland Chinese wafer, cell, and module production. Two prominent firms I can think of have recently stepped up to the plate with 20 & 25 yr power output warranties. Several of the Tier 2 produces can probably boast ever high quality, they just lack the reputation. . yet. Why don't you explain how their quality will be inferior after recruiting the most experienced engineers, buying the newest equipment, and contracting with the best western process and construction companies. What's left inferior nature of the Chinese people/culture?

  The US has lost solar and Germany is too small to keep up. Fair and square in an utterly ruthless and brutal capitalistic process. The Chinese will feel the pain too, many of them are finished and a very stressful period of consolidation and bankruptcy will soon begin. Things will stabilize and cSi PV will become a globally traded every conversion commodity that is cheaper than everything except 160MW ICC gas turbines at 2009 natural gas prices. It's already done. Let's just hope CDB doesn't just spend a few billion and buy global PV capacity for the Chinese government. I would if I were them.

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815994)

You say "we" when talking about the United States, but you're not from the United States. There are linguistic cues scattered about your posting that show that not only aren't you a native English speaker, but you do not currently reside with any.

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (2)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816066)

The thing you are missing is all things are relative. Pollution may be bad but compared to what? Dangerous factories may be bad but compared to what?

When an economy is purely agricultural it is very dangerous. There are plenty of things for farmers to die from and the working conditions are outside in all weather. Compared to that a sweatshop is much nicer. You have a roof and a stool. And if you are lucky the product needs to be build in a climate controlled factory and you get to enjoy that too.

Same for pollution. When you living a subsistence life you would trade some pollution for an easier life. This is a necessarily state to pass through because you can't afford both the manufacturing capital and the environmental protection capital costs. It is only when you grow to a certain productive level can you afford safety and pollution controls. You are looking at it from a rich western lifestyle. Try to see it through the eyes of someone that is seriously worried about where their next meal is coming from. Even the poor in the US are fat.

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816250)

The Chinese government hands cash to their panel manufacturers to lower their prices so they can put our manufacturers out of business.

The Chinese government wants to encourage domestic use of cheap, renewable energy because they have no long-standing strategic interests in the Middle East but will soon be importing 70% of their oil from countries that are allied to the U.S. That is just one reason, in addition to all of the usual reasons that reliance on foreign oil is a problem.

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (5, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815740)

Cheating:

- Governmental currency manipulation which is pretty much a certainty [outsidethebeltway.com] .

- "Product Dumping [economyincrisis.org] ", e.g. selling a product at below production cost [indiatimes.com] (either by simply eating the loss or cutting corners and dumping an inferior, unsafe product) [nytimes.com] so as to drive competitors out of the market [pbs.org] and then price-gouge once you're the only supplier (already seen in some markets where China did, in fact, run US companies out of business)

- Rampant theft of intellectual property - we're not just talking Napster-grade "file sharing" here, we are talking about [economyincrisis.org] rampant spying and thievery of patented products and designs [theepochtimes.com] . As the last article I link shows, it's not just the US getting burned by the Chinese - this is a major point of concern in the EU as well.

Are you getting some form of a clue now?

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815744)

Free markets aren't considered free where governments intervene. In this case, the intervening government is China, which is exercising their tax power to take from most industries, and give to solar. If the Chinese solar industry didn't have subsidies, the US solar industry would have no free market cause for complaint.

So are there any free markets? (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815998)

Thanks for your measured response. So my naive response would be: are there ever any examples of large scale free markets? Surely at any level of international trade, there are government rules to be followed, and national political agendas to be negotiated with, so there is no such thing as a free market, nor has there ever been? All the way through recorded history local and national authorities have influenced trade either informally or formally, whether through tax breaks and surcharges for different parties, or informally through just making it difficult for some people to trade and easier for others to move and sell their goods?

I can imagine there are examples at a very local level of truly free markets, e.g. something like ebay in one country, where I can pick and choose which second hand iphone I want to buy, and sellers have to compete fairly equally, or farmers at a vegetable market all selling similar goods, but as soon as you hit national boundaries surely government interventions will always be a factor? Even if it's indirectly, such as when a country's government might insist producers in their country pay their workers a minimum wage, and so make the prices of goods produced there more expensive than thoe same goods produced in another country where there is no minimum wage (or a lower one)?

cheers.

Re:So are there any free markets? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816252)

No, there aren't any truly free markets, by definition it's fundamentally impossible for one to exist in a governed location, and there are no ungoverned locations in the world.

But there are markets operating closer and further from free principles. The solar market is in a particularly egregiously un-free spot right now. It might well be the least-free market in existence at the moment, such is the size of the Chinese government investment.

Re:So are there any free markets? (1)

alexhard (778254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816320)

It should be noted that anti-dumping laws are abused to an insane extent. Organizations in the U.S. which benefit from them obviously hold much greater political power than their Chinese rivals, and are able to manipulate the system to shut down competition. Simply producing for less than the U.S. cost of manufacture has been successfully used as an argument to put "anti-dumping" regulations in place.

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815790)

As always when creating models one uses idealisations. The "free market" is an idealisation which assumes that there is no government intervention.

This doesn't happen in the real world since nations have a vested interest ("nationalism" etc) to favour their own and so you get tarriffs etc. Once that happens, the market is NOT free. In the extreme case if that happens the market could reduce to "just stuff within the nation" and essentially be a local-only market.

Price dumping is when you charge less externally than you do internally, i.e. the new US-produced whatever video DVD costs $10 in the US and $1 in China (the same thing, not a knockoff!).

Price dumping is considered bad by the European Council and it has rules against it (if some external agent tries to dump the European market, of course). If it happens, someone in the Council points it out and they have a vote about it. If there's enough votes against allowing the product in (in fact, they don't say that is what they want to do, although it is), tarriffs are imposed so it will not be economical for the external agent to do it anymore.

No idea how it works in the US.

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815954)

Price dumping is when you charge less externally than you do internally, i.e. the new US-produced whatever video DVD costs $10 in the US and $1 in China (the same thing, not a knockoff!).

No, price dumping is if you charge less than it costs you to produce and deliver the product. Thus the $1 DVD in China is only dumping if producing it and getting it to China costs more than $1.

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815854)

I thought "the invisible hand of the market" was supposed to make things work.

Except it's well known (at least among economists) that markets do not in fact work correctly all the time. If I start a landfill on my property, that presents an economic cost to my neighbors even though my neighbors weren't part of the deal. Or if the point of buying the product is to show off how rich I am, then instead of lower prices yielding more sales, higher prices yield more sales. Or if my factory emits lots of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, and your kid catches asthma because of it, that's a cost paid by you even though it was caused by me. Or if I go to buy a used car, while I can evaluate the car somewhat carefully, ultimately the dealer knows more about the history of that car than I do, so it's possible that he'll sell me a piece of junk. Or if there's an IPO of a very hyped but fundamentally worthless company, lots of investors will buy it up early, wait for the price to skyrocket, and try to find some bigger sucker to sell to before anyone realizes how worthless the company is.

Point is, things are a lot more complicated than you were probably taught in high school.

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815968)

Or does the "free market" assume no government intervention

In theory "free market" means free from government intervention. Of course this is never the case. Usually government interfere in some way shape or form. Usually this is to protect consumers with things like standardization, FDA, EPA, workplace safety, etc. The government will also often intervene to reduce the gap between the rich and poor: graduated taxation, special program for remote regions. NASA for example was established in the southern US states because those areas were poor. There are other things too.

The cheating part usually come in play in international relations. When one government implements policy, not for internal reasons like poverty, but to effect international trade. The best example is China's subsidizing (by tax exemption, non-existent environmental protections, export target bonuses, etc.) rare earth metals to such a massive extent that they drove almost all of the western worlds rare earth metal mines out of businesses. Now that China controls the worlds supply of rare earth metals they restrict export as a political tool (re: Japan and the fishing boat incident about a year ago).

The case being made in this article is the same. Everyone knows the solar will be big money in the near future, so everyone is trying to encourage their own solar industry by giving incentives to buy solar, thus creating a market for these start-up solar companies to sell in. But China is massively subsidizing its solar industry (through tax exemption, non-existent environmental protections, export target bonuses, etc.) so that they produce far cheaper than anyone else in the world. This is driving the rest of the worlds solar industry out of business. Without these companies the west will never develop good solar technology and China will have a monopoly.

This tactic of driving another country's industry out of business has been done many many times in the past, its called dumping (ie. dumping cheap government subsidized products on the market). When this happens the importing company will introduce anti-dumping laws to protect their industry (which yes is a form of protectionism).

The problem is deciding what counts as dumping and what doesn't. Sometimes a country will claim another is dumping when they are not just as an excuse to protect the local industry which is just plain old protectionism.

who enforces the guidebook of rules?

WTO in theory, but that is like saying the UN enforces world peace, not really. It's pretty much every country for itself. Hence the massive complicated mess that is international economics.

A good example is how the USA use high fructose corn syrup instead of real sugar like most of the rest of the world. Most sugar comes from Brazil, which the USA had a trade spat with and put high tariffs on sugar imports. The result is that even though sugar is more healthy AND cheaper the USA continues to use HFCS. It's as much political as economics.

Re:Cheating? Free market? how does this work? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816100)

In Europe markets are regulated to ensure fair competition. It's not a free market system but a neoliberal one.

Dumping is awesome. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815554)

I want cheap solar panels. Down with the west.

Re:Dumping is awesome. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815720)

And solor panels based on Polysilicon that last 50+ years not ones based on thin-film that last only 7 years.

Not dumping prices, but toxic stuff (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815562)

Price dumping is selling stuff below the price it took to manufacture. But that's not the case. The price is that low - though only because the Chinese are not capturing and recycling their toxic waste and dump it into the environment instead.

The higher price in Europe is not down to "excessive" environmental regulation, but a matter of basic environmental protection. Of course, this doesn't stop European greenies from feeling smug for having Chinese solar cells on their roofs - so long as the pollution is not in their backyards. (Never mind that their cells would have been a lot more expensive had they been produced in a more reasonable way.)

Re:Not dumping prices, but toxic stuff (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815622)

Sounds a great slogan:

Keep Europe beautiful- dump your toxins in China.

I think that could take off...

Re:Not dumping prices, but toxic stuff (4, Interesting)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815710)

This is basically what is going on and not just in solar cells but also in rare earth minerals. Similar problem. Low concentrations demand leaching with rather aggressive and toxic chemicals, that are expensive to capture and recycle. Importing them from China in the name of Free Markets has no different result as producing them in the USA and dumping the waste on China.

The whole "buy Chinese stuff and blame them for their CO2 emissions" business is yet another example.

Re:Not dumping prices, but toxic stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816084)

Importing them from China in the name of Free Markets has no different result as producing them in the USA and dumping the waste on China.

You mean it doesn't do anything different other than create Chinese jobs and profits for Chinese businesses.

Re:Not dumping prices, but toxic stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815802)

Is it bad that I see this as a good thing?

China does it best to destroy it's future while selling me panels that protect mine? That's a good trade for me really. It's not like we're asking them to pollute their own country, they've made the choice to do so.

Re:Not dumping prices, but toxic stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815948)

The problem is they aren't just dumping toxins on the ground, destroying their future, but also pumping toxins into the air, harming us all.

Re:Not dumping prices, but toxic stuff (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815692)

It's not entirely about the environmental regulations. In addition to toxic waste spewing all over their country, Chinese workers don't have the kind of labor protections that European and even US workers currently have, like protection from unpaid overtime, workplace safety laws so they don't get killed on the job, minimum wages, collective bargaining rights, child labor laws, etc.

1 2 3 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815612)

I declare a TRADE WAR.

This is going to be hilarious. Smoot-Hawley all over again. Welcome to great depression part 2.

We deserve it. We are a country of half-wits and morons.

Re:1 2 3 4 (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815806)

Not really - I mean what does America produce that China needs? This is not a trade war as much as trade suicide.

Re:1 2 3 4 (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816008)

what does America produce that China needs?

Raw materials, agricultural commodities, geopolitical stability.

Re:1 2 3 4 (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816200)

agricultural commodities

According to the USDA [usda.gov] , China only imports around 20% of its agricultural needs from the US. Certainly not a deal-breaker if they do without or buy it elsewhere for a bit more money.

As for raw materials the main ones - oil (middle east, indonesia, canada), copper (indonesia/australia), nickel (canada/australia), iron ore (brazil) are not produced in the US. You know that when the trade deficit is negative like in the US, this means that the US does not even produce enough for its own consumption, let alone for foreign demand.

geopolitical stability

Are you serious? America produces geopolitical stability? ROFL. Ok just ignore me, you simply won't ever understand.

Re:1 2 3 4 (1)

pijokela (462279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816042)

Dollars. Someone has to pay for all the stuff China manufactures. If the US will not buy the stuff there will be massive unemployment in China.

Re:1 2 3 4 (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816242)

Agreed. Now when you print more dollars and devalue the currency, how does this affect the perception of the dollar and the demand for the dollar? What will the US do when China simply decides it doesn't want dollars anymore? I mean, you can't force them to accept dollars. What happens when they want to be paid in gold? Or Japanese Yen? Or Swiss Francs?

Re:1 2 3 4 (2)

BZ (40346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816128)

> what does America produce that China needs?

Needs or wants?

For example, America produces wheat at a much lower cost than China. But China has explicit policies in place to raise the domestic price of wheat to the point where consumers don't buy more of it than they can produce domestically. This sort of sucks for Chinese consumers, obviously, but who cares if people are getting enough food....

More to the point of your question, what America has that China needs right this second is consumers. A trade war does mean higher prices on manufactures goods for US consumers; it also means higher unemployment in China. And higher unemployment and the ensuing political instability is something the Chinese government desperately doesn't want. This is why they've been doing everything they can to export their unemployment to the rest of the world (which is what their currency operations and general economic policy is all about). This does involve repressing domestic demand, unfortunately, which leaves them even more dependent on exports and foreign demand to keep people employed...

So far the US has been allowing higher unemployment here in exchange for cheaper products. This works so long as the unemployment rate doesn't get too high so people vote more for cheap stuff than for more jobs. Whether we've gotten to "too high" yet is unclear.

One explanation: the US is whinging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815644)

I'm so over all this China bashing crap coming out of the US. You guys need to look in the mirror to work out who's responsible for the state of your economy, not blame everyone else all the time. Every time someone in the US looses a job you all blame China and it just makes you look like a bunch of cry babies.

What about the US and Solyndra? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815648)

The US government gave, what $500 million dollars to Solyndra to produce solar panels.
why is it different when the Chinese government subsidises solar panel companies?

Re:What about the US and Solyndra? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815778)

Wait what, this is the only double standard you can see in American policy?

Re:What about the US and Solyndra? (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815800)

Because the Chinese companies actually MAKE solar panels. Ours are just front companies to enrich CEO's.

Re:What about the US and Solyndra? (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816136)

The US did not give money to Solyndra. They gave a loan guarantee.

Re:What about the US and Solyndra? (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816138)

One difference is that Solyndra received start-up loan guarantees, whereas the established manufacturers in China receive subsidies like tax rebates. The former is government saying, "if your business fails, we'll make it less painful", the latter is the government saying, "even when you have succeeded, we'll still help you against your competition"

Re:What about the US and Solyndra? (1)

thaylin (555395) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816376)

because that money was not to lower the price of solar cells, but to help lower startup costs, they were still free to charge what they wanted to.

Chinese products (-1, Offtopic)

Holly Holiday (2492588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815652)

I think that Chinese products are very cheap but this is also because their quality is not very good... [vacationhomes.net]

Easy solution: tUSA should buy more PV (1)

stomv (80392) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815674)

Pretty straightforward. Let's buy all the Chinese PV manufactured in 2012 *and* all tUSA PV manufactured in 2012. Do that, and, we'll:
  * support tUSA businesses by buying their PV
  * get a whole bunch of additional PV at firesale prices, helping consumers lock in to lower long term energy prices, helping utilities comply with upcoming EPA policies, helping clean our air and water by reducing the amount of coal and natural gas we burn for electricity, and BTW creating bunches of jobs selling, shipping, installing, and maintaining the PV.

As an added bonus, if China really is dumping due to government subsidies, we get a wealth transfer from China to tUSA in the process, and $deity knows we could use some of that.

P.S. This is slashdot, so nuclear has to work its way into the conversation. Based on both 20th and 21st century experience, PV generated electricity is actually cheaper on a long term total cost than nuclear generated electricity. That's not to say that we shouldn't have nuclear, but rather that since we are operating coal and gas plants during sunny portions of the day, there's plenty of room to install PV without taking away room to install more nuclear.

Re:Easy solution: tUSA should buy more PV (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815718)

Your solutions assume a perfectly liquid and instantaneous market, which China much more closely approximates than us.

Our reaction speed is slower than theirs, therefore in the long run they'll always come out on top.

Re:Easy solution: tUSA should buy more PV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815818)

"PV?" Porn Videos?

Re:Easy solution: tUSA should buy more PV (1)

starcraftsicko (647070) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816012)

P.S. This is slashdot, so nuclear has to work its way into the conversation.

Thanks for bringing nuclear energy into the discussion, but how will this all affect my bitcoins?

China is cheating... so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815690)

Western governments are heavily subsidying the solar demand in order to beef up development of environmentally friendly technologies. The Chinese government is helping Chinese companies (which is no secret - it's even part of an official policy) and plans, that China becomes world leader in green energies. These two goals are compatible: the west wants cheap, environmentally friendly energy, while China wants to have at least one industry where it can be innovative rather than always depending on the west for innovation.

Of course, western solar producers are complaining that China is cheaper. But hey, most of the western solar companies are only EXISTING because western governments are creating an artificial demand on the taxpayer's expense. So they are actually just as much parasites as their Chinese counterparts. I don't see why they should deserve any help.

I believe that our governments should rather push research in universities, than merly distributing money among solar production in companies. THAT would be fair - because every industry boss who makes millions on taxpayer's expense is cheating at the end of the day - no matter whether he is Chinese or Western.

American economy (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815760)

1. Outsource 90% of manufacturing to China

2. Start a trade war with China

3. ???

4. Profit?

Re:American economy (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815874)

3. Eliminate 90% of consumer demand thru unemployment, underemployment, credit/financial system implosion, economic bubbles in locally provided services like education and health care. Getting rid of our consumers will balance the lack of Chinese consumer goods. We're on track so far...

Re:American economy (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816294)

Except you're not thinking globally. OK, get rid of American consumers. And replace them with Latin American or European (or even Indian) consumers. China will sell to anyone, they're not picky. But I wouldn't want to live in America when that happens. To some extent it's happening now. You should see how Latin America has boomed in the last 20 years - it's not all narco-dollars.

Free money for Solyndra, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815762)

As if the US is SOOO innocent of violating free market rules to prop up favored companies....

Hell, the US government is even propping up "green" industries in Finland!

Not cheating, just not broken... (2, Interesting)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815856)

Unlike the maze of bullshit that is the US financial system, the Chinese appear to be engaging in actual beneficial capitalism. Instead of subsidizing banks and petro-warfare, their government subsidizes the manufacture of distributed, individual-scale, liberating technologies that are mostly produced for export, benefiting consumers in the US and around the world. Look at what the Chinese produce: affordable solar energy, small-scale agricultural equipment, bicycles. Compare that to what the US produces: large-scale strip-mining equipment, large-scale industrial-farming equipment, gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. When US consumers inevitably use imported individual-scale technologies to escape our own system of corporate-dominated, crony-capitalist citizenship-slavery, the banks and corporations at the center of the US control grid lose their grip and send an army of lobbyists to DC in order to draft favorable legislation and bail-outs in an attempt to maintain their coercive, dominant position.

And I'm not just being hyperbolic. The American consumer needs to wake up and realize that it is literally a control grid, maintained through government-sanctioned force and fraud. Banks and the FED, through derivative contracts and control of the mortgage and municipal bond markets, use a maze of 600 trillion dollars worth of fraudulent debt to herd Americans into city/slums where they can be fleeced of all capital and resources by coercive corporate monopolies maintained through regulatory arbitrage. From there, it's into permanent wage-slavery, prisons or the military where economic dependence is used as the excuse to liquidate human and civil rights. Corporations, banks and bureaucrats profit every step of the way.

This is the reason we see, for example in the Senate's proposed currency tariff bill, instead of flat-rate, across-the-board tariffs that address actual currency manipulation while respecting free trade, targeted tariffs designed to protect individual companies proportional to their ability to fleece American consumers. The current design of tariffs according to the US ruling elite, instead of protecting Americans from unfair trade as intended, is to protect US corporations by leading American consumers to slaughter either in the figurative economic sense or, when that fails, in the literal "perpetrating false-flag terror and sending them to die in some fraudulent war" sense.

Frankly the Chinese should complain that our trillion-dollar subsidies of petro-warfare is hurting sales of their solar panels.

Nope. Not Yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815898)

The cost of PV per kilowatt hour still hasn't reached parity with the cost of average utility electricity prices in the U.S. Until it does, I'm happy to have the Chinese government subsidize our cost.

I much prefer the subsidies come from China rather than our own government/pockets.

Cpitolisim is good until.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37815914)

The companies start whining for daddy gubment to fix the game for them.

The biggest problem is that a LOT of china solar panels are the thin film crap that will not last more than 5 years and loses 1/2 it's output within 2 years. But there are killer prices for monocrystaline panels that will last you 50 years that makes the greedy US companies whine.

The repubs who CLAIM they are for Capitolisim and small government will back a bill to stop affordable solar from flowing in from china.

We want cheap panels (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815920)

Nobody give a shit where they come from.
Get the fucking cost down so we can get off the fucking grid.

They made out of sand, dirt and chemicals.
Copy what SHARP does and make it cheap.

"fuck carbon tax, fuck agenda 21 and fuck the centralized power trying to ram this shit down our ass.. moveon.org fuck you, 350.org fuck you, kochs fuck you sorros fuck you, al gore fuck you, IPCC fuck you"

Re:We want cheap panels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816018)

Should have made it more clearer.

I am for the cheap panels.
I am not for more centralized government.
I am not for "democracy" (mob rule), I am for a constitutional republic.

So be careful and don't be the "REACTION" part of this "UN Agenda 21's problem, reaction, solution" because nobody on planet Earth is going to enjoy a one world bank, a one world government, and that's exactly what your going to get if you allow the 350.orgs, the koch's the soros's the al gore's the moveon.org's to co-opt the fucking conversation.

NO WORLD BANK
NO NO NO!

David lays it out for the confused among us.
GET EDUCATED GOD DAMN IT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV9A2IGShuk [youtube.com]

perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37815952)

subsidies for alternative energy in China = cheating
subsidies for alternative energy in US = ?

same thing with textile, agriculture,

An artificially low currency is already a tariff. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37816038)

Per the title: If you lock your currency at an artificially low rate you have effectively implemented a tariff on ALL imports from abroad, and a subsidy on ALL exports.

What would it look like if the US said, "OK, if any of you guys want to sell something abroad, we are going to refund you 50% of the cost of manufacture so you can sell it dirt cheap abroad"? Well, that is what China has effectively done.

Unfortunately the average guy in the street has a mindset that recognises the "they block trade, we block trade" tit-for-tat, but doesn't grasp how artificially low currencies actually work, or there would have been an outcry a long time ago. The people who knew or should have known all kept quiet, either because they wanted to up their profits, to create 'world peace' or to help China develop.

In other words... (1)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816064)

American companies that are used to charging ridiculous prices for solar equipment are upset that someone else is starting to produce the items cheaper and thus out-compete them, so they want the government to step in and protect them.

high subsidy, or low quality??? (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#37816382)

I don't know about photovoltaic, but with evacuated-tube solar collectors, the cheap ones from china are basic the lowest-quality most inefficient ones in the world, by a wide margin. (China also makes some of the best, but those are priced accordingly.)

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