October 14 News: “The Chinese Dragon is Coming” in Wind

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"October 14 News: “The Chinese Dragon is Coming” in Wind"

Other stories below:  Gore Links Climate Change to Great Lakes Problems; U.S. Allows BP to Drill in the Gulf; Marine Contractors Seek Jobs in Offshore wind.


China Targets GE Wind Turbines With $15.5 Billion War Chest

China has taken on General Electric Co. and Western peers that control the $70 billion wind-turbine market, striving to repeat its 2010 coup when the Asian nation sold more than half the world’s solar panels for the first time.

Armed with at least $15.5 billion in state-backed credit, China’s biggest windmill makers Sinovel Wind Group Co. and Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. won their first major foreign orders in the past year. They plan to set up plants abroad, including China’s first in the U.S., easing entry into markets for delivering machines that can weigh 750 tons each.

Sinovel and Goldwind may counter the quality concerns of customers and overtake Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S as the biggest supplier by 2015, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance survey forecast. That can erode sales and margins for suppliers such as GE and Vestas that already face cutbacks in European subsidies and a 22 percent plunge in turbine prices from their 2008 peak.

“The Chinese dragon is coming,” said Jose Antunes Sobrinho, chief executive officer of Brazil’s Desenvix SA, a wind developer that ordered 23 Sinovel turbines in September….

A shift to Chinese suppliers could even nudge down the cost of wind power enough for it to compete with coal and natural gas in the U.S. and Europe when the wind is blowing, threatening fossil fuel-based business models at utilities such as Germany’s RWE AG and Centrica Plc of the U.K.

Gore Links Climate Change to Great Lakes Problems

Former Vice President Al Gore linked climate change to a rash of environmental catastrophes Thursday, from floods in Pakistan to drought in Texas and rampant algae blooms sucking oxygen from Lake Erie.

The fallout from a warming planet is being felt around the world, Gore said in a speech during the annual meeting of the International Joint Commission, which advises the U.S. and Canadian governments on issues affecting shared waterways. Things will get worse unless people reject a campaign of denial orchestrated by the fossil fuel industry and make significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

“We’re still acting as if it’s perfectly OK to use this thin-shelled atmosphere as an open sewer. It’s not OK,” Gore said. “We need to listen to the scientists. We need to use the tried and true method of using the best evidence, debating and discussing it, but not pretending that facts are not facts.”

Gore, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his campaign to awaken people to the climate change threat, said warmer temperatures could nullify much of the progress made in recent decades to heal the battered Great Lakes.

Increasingly, severe storms made worse by greater volumes of water vapor in the atmosphere are causing wastewater treatment system overflows that dump raw sewage into the lakes, he said. That forces beach closures and promotes growth of algae blooms that create oxygen-deprived zones where fish can’t survive.

Study: Gulf Seafood Unsafe for Pregnant Women and Children?

Is Gulf seafood safe to eat? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the green light following the BP oil spill that dumped nearly 5 million barrels of crude off the coast of Louisiana last year, but now an environmental watchdog group says the agency’s standards are “based on outdated science” and underestimate the risk of cancer-causing contaminants to pregnant women and children eating seafood from the Gulf.

At issue are what the FDA considers safe levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), compounds found in oil, coal and gasoline that have been linked to cancer in animals and humans. According to Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, a researcher with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the FDA accepts 100 to 10,000 times more PAH contamination in seafood than the NRDC deems safe for vulnerable populations.

That conclusion was published online Wednesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. On the same day, the NRDC filed a petition [PDF] asking the FDA to reevaluate its science and set new limits for PAHs in seafood to ensure public safety, especially for vulnerable populations like pregnant women and children.

U.S. Allowing BP to Bid on Leases in the Gulf

After an internal debate, the Obama administration announced on Thursday that BP would be allowed to bid on new oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Just a day before, the Interior Department cited BP, the British oil company, and its two principal contractors for numerous safety and environmental violations related to the explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon rig in April 2010.

Michael Bromwich, the head of the new Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, disclosed the decision at a House committee hearing. The committee was reviewing the findings of a government investigation into the BP disaster, which left 11 workers dead and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

“The question is, ‘Do you administer the administrative death penalty based on one incident?’ ” Mr. Bromwich told reporters after the hearing. “And we’ve concluded that’s not appropriate.”

Mr. Bromwich told the House committee that his agency had “thought about this issue quite a lot” before deciding to let BP participate in the first scheduled auction of offshore leases since the accident. Two million deepwater acres will be opened for exploration and drilling in the western gulf.

Solar Panels Start to Outshine Mirrors

Factories in China have been churning out solar panels so fast that prices have plunged. Just ask the folks at Solyndra, the bankrupt photovoltaic-cell maker that has gotten the Obama Administration into hot water over loan guarantees. Those Chinese manufacturers are now disrupting another corner of the solar industry: so-called solar thermal installations, which make electricity by bouncing sunlight off mirrors to boil water, creating steam that drives turbines.

At least four companies have abandoned plans for solar thermal plants in the U.S. in favor of electricity-producing solar cells, which have fallen in price by nearly half this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That means it may no longer make sense to complete many solar thermal projects, typically vast installations in deserts that take years to build. For solar thermal, “the future in the U.S. looks very challenging,” says Brett Prior, an analyst at energy consultancy GTM Research.

In the past two years developers have switched nine thermal projects with about 4.5 gigawatts of capacity to solar panels, GTM reports. In August, Germany’s Solar Millennium (SMLNF) made the change at a $2.9 billion plant 200 miles east of Los Angeles. Then on Oct. 6 the company sold all four of its U.S. projects to another German company, Solarhybrid (SHL), which said it planned to shift the entire operation to panels. Solar Millennium said it sold the plants to focus on thermal in other countries.

Marine Contractors Seek Jobs in U.S. Offshore Wind Supply Chain

Marine contractors and equipment suppliers are seeking a share of the nascent U.S. offshore wind energy industry, executives said.

Kokosing Construction Co., a closely held construction management company, is bidding to lay undersea cables to transmit power from several planned wind farms off the Atlantic coast, Bill Wenger, estimating and marketing manager at its Durocher Marine unit, said today.

There are no wind farms in U.S. waters, and this lack of infrastructure is creating a market for contractors, shipbuilders, oil-rig installers and other companies with experience building large structures at sea.

“We are optimistic about this industry and see it as a big potential business for us,” Wenger said in an interview today at the American Wind Energy Association’s Offshore Windpower Conference in Baltimore.

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26 Responses to October 14 News: “The Chinese Dragon is Coming” in Wind

  1. Sasparilla says:

    A bit ominous looking at several articles here which detail that Chinese government subsidized green energy manufacturers attacking the solar and now the wind sector. They are seriously going after US and European wind power manufacturers with a $15 billion war chest from the Chinese government.

    Then several articles down we can see that the Chinese government funded dumping of Solar Panels in the US market is destroying the nascent market for Solar Thermal in the US (besides running US panel manufacturers out of business).

    As best as I can tell, the US government is just standing by as they destroy our solar industry – I wonder if they’d do any different for wind?

    The amazing thing in all this, from my perspective, is the Chinese are doing this with the money we give them in the first place (those massive Chinese government subsidies ultimately get funded from us buying their stuff) – they’re on track to destroy our green energy manufacturer base and we’re actively enabling them do it.

    Reminds me of the whole money circle from our hands to oil in the middle east to having to fight muslim fundamentalists which that money educates and supports over there.

    • Raul M. says:

      “the amazing thing in all this”
      Sorry, I’m not following you.
      Give does not equal buy.
      Building wind power does equal obstructing wind industry.
      And our governments actions do not equal theirs.
      So I feel your concluding statement does not add up.
      Sorry.
      Enjoy
      Raul

  2. Paul Magnus says:

    Climate Portals shared a link.

    B.C.’s Kitimat LNG terminal wins export licence
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com
    Step by National Energy Board will allow shipping of liquefied natural gas from B.C. to Asian markets

    • Paul Magnus says:

      In a measure of how much gas the export terminal is expected to move, the licence allows Apache to export more gas than it currently has in established reserves. The 20-year term would use up virtually all of the reserves currently held by EOG, while Encana has substantially more than its export commitment would require.

  3. Paul Magnus says:

    Encana hopes to triple gas liquids output
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com
    Statement came hours after Pembina announced a $230-million capacity expansion at Resthaven plant

  4. Paul Magnus says:

    Climate Portals shared a link.

    Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog : Thailand flood its most expensive in history; Western Caribbean distu
    http://www.wunderground.com
    Weather Underground provides local & long range Weather Forecast, weather reports, maps & tropical weather conditions for locations worldwide.

  5. Chris Winter says:

    The question is, ‘Do you administer the administrative death penalty based on one incident?’ ” Mr. Bromwich told reporters after the hearing. “And we’ve concluded that’s not appropriate.”

    Bromwich has great credentials. However, the department is being split in two. He will remain as chief of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and will run the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement until a permanent director is found. The future turns on who is picked to run the BSEE.

    Whoever that is will likely face some tough questions from Gulf-state Congresscritters.

    http://cajunconservatism.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/michael-bromwich-accused-of-half-truths-by-freshman-louisiana-rep-jeff-landry/
    Michael Bromwich accused of ‘half truths’ by freshman Louisiana Rep. Jeff Landry
    Posted: March 31, 2011 by Christopher J. Gary in drilling, jeff landry, moratorium, oil and gas

  6. Chris Winter says:

    October 18 News: “The Chinese Dragon is Coming” in Wind”

    So it’s October 18th already? <G>

  7. David B. Benson says:

    Wind power brings natgas burners right behind. So the natgas burners are prefectly happy to give up the approximately 25% of generation time in trade for an assured market at a slightly higher price.

    Studies in Ireland show that there, because of the lack of gas turbines to back up the wind, only a net savings of 5% in CO2 emissions despite the considerable penitration of wind power.

    Here in the Pacific Northwest we have more than enough wind farms; don’t want any more.

    • Merrelyn Emery says:

      Thanks for this link. Good to see that the possibility/probability? of abrupt, non-linear change is filtering through, ME

  8. Merrelyn Emery says:

    It is conceivable that China has looked at the disharmony in the international community, has given up on it and decided to save the planet on its own.

    Remember, this is one of the oldest cultures on Earth and I’m sure has no intention of going down with the squabling rabble, ME

  9. prokaryotes says:

    Gore links climate change to world’s weather woes

    DETROIT (AP) – Former Vice President Al Gore linked climate change to a rash of environmental catastrophes Thursday, from floods in Pakistan to drought in Texas and rampant algae blooms sucking oxygen from Lake Erie.

    The fallout from a warming planet is being felt around the world, Gore said in a speech during the annual meeting of the International Joint Commission, which advises the U.S. and Canadian governments on issues affecting shared waterways. Things will get worse unless people reject a campaign of denial orchestrated by the fossil fuel industry and make significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
    “We’re still acting as if it’s perfectly OK to use this thin-shelled atmosphere as an open sewer. It’s not OK,” Gore said. “We need to listen to the scientists. We need to use the tried and true method of using the best evidence, debating and discussing it, but not pretending that facts are not facts.”
    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/story/2011-10-14/gore-climate-change-global-warming-weather-catastrophes/50774114/1

  10. prokaryotes says:

    The week in weather

    Cars pile up after being dragged by floodwaters in Villa de Coral, Mexico, on Wednesday. Hurricane Jova slammed into Mexico’s Pacific coast as a Category 2 storm early Wednesday, killing at least five people.
    http://mediagallery.usatoday.com/This-week-in-weather/G350

  11. Andy Heninger says:

    “It takes more electricity to drive the average gasoline car 100 miles, than it does to drive an electric car 100 miles.”

    http://electricmini.blogspot.com/2011/10/it-takes-lot-of-coal-to-make-gasoline.html

    The article estimates the amount of electricity used in the production of a gallon of gasoline, and considers how far an electric car would go on that same amount of electricity.

    It’s an interesting argument.

  12. Dr.A.Jagadeesh says:

    Yes. China is advancing in Wind in leaps and bounds and already world leader.

    Dr.A.Jagtadeesh Nellore(AP),India
    Wind Energy Expert
    E-mail: anumakonda.jagadeesh@gmail.com