Monday, August 24, 2009

The Telegraph on China's Taking the Lead in Green Energy

I like this article in "The Telegraph," a Conservative British newspaper, a lot: As visitors here know, I like to check out articles in the mainstream media and discuss them here more than I do the blogs that I subscribe to, because the MSM has a wider reach as far as its message is concerned, though blogs are often more passionate about the subject of green energy, and they are also much faster in looking at developments in the field. However, there is a popular misconception among Renewable Energy supporters that Conservatives are not always in favor of RE. Earlier views suggested that religious groups were opposed to the idea, until churches in the USA, Muslim groups in several countries and Sikh and Hindu religious leaders in India all began to push hard on environmental issues and on urging their followers to look at RE. This Telegraph article is particularly interesting because it not only looks at the idea of grid parity, it also looks at dumping practices by the Chinese in selling solar panels to Europe and at the whole business as a profitable enterprise, not as some ideological aim.

This particular piece also throws out the idea of competing - a very good thing in my opinion - with the Chinese as far as RE is concerned. While the USA slowly moves towards this sector pushed by hard-nosed businesspeople who have now turned green entrepreneurs, Europe has been ahead of the game for some time. Germany has several advanced solar panel manufacturers, the Scandinavians and the Germans have both been building wind turbines for sale all over the world, and the Spaniards and Portuguese have been busy harnessing the sun and the wind over their countries as the British work on harnessing the energy of the sea. Now, the Europeans have a wealthy competitor who may not always play by the rules, in China. This is still fine, I think, because the more solar panels the Chinese sell, the less fossil fuels are going to be used. In the long term, the Europeans are also certain to respond by raising the stakes from a technological standpoint - they do have some of the world's top universities and engineering brains. Count on them to look at raising the efficiency of their offerings in this area in order to beat the Chinese. For a long time, supporters of that biggest celebration of the harnessing of fossil fuel, Formula 1 racing, used to argue thyat competition improved the breed. Now, that is happening on a much larger scale and with a much wider scope, in the area of Renewable Energy. This blog is happily celebrating!

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