An about face by China on solar power

From John Droz’s newsletter with a hat-tip to Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. for bringing it to my attention and via the “I can hear Joe Romm’s head exploding” department and Electric Light and Power comes this story:

CHINA TO DROP SOLAR ENERGY TO FOCUS ON NUCLEAR POWER
Asia Pulse

China will accelerate the use of new-energy sources such as nuclear energy and put an end to blind expansion in industries such as solar energy and wind power in 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says in a government report published on March 5.

China will instead develop nuclear power in 2012, actively develop hydroelectric power, tackle key problems more quickly in the exploration and development of shale gas, and increase the share of new energy and renewable energy in total energy consumption.

The guidance indicates a new trend for new-energy and renewable energy development in China from 2012. Analysts believe that the development of the solar and wind power industries will stabilize while hydropower will have the top priority in renewable energy development in China.

– Hydropower to contribute two-thirds of renewable energy

According to China’s development plan for 2011-2015, China aims to increase the share of renewable energy consumption to 11.4 per cent of total energy consumption in China by the end of 2015.

Full story here

83 thoughts on “An about face by China on solar power

  1. Pragmatic Communism. Still communism, but at least they apply common sense here and there. I’ll bet they still build the panels and sell them to more gullible sorts though!!!

  2. “Analysts believe that the development of the solar and wind power industries will stabilize….”

    Lol, it will drop to the degree the west quits subsidizing it. Let’s hear all of the lunatics now talk about how we’re losing the tech race with China. How renewable energy is the wave of the future…….

    It was a phony propped up market in which enabled China to siphon $billions from the gullible lunatics advocating this massive bit of stupidity. Now that the funds are getting shut off, the industry is dying a quick death. Can we put the turtles back now? lmao!

  3. I thought this part of the news report was interesting too.
    “– Share of non-fossil energy use in China drops in 2011

    The share of non-fossil energy consumption, including hydropower, nuclear power, wind power and solar power, in total primary energy use in China witnessed a decline of 0.3 percentage point from 8.6 per cent in 2010 to 8.3 per cent in 2011, says Qian Zhimin, deputy director with the NEA.

    According to a report from the China Electricity Council on the performance of China’s power industry in 2011, the average operating hours of hydropower generating facilities decreased 376 hours to 3,028 hours in 2011 due to severe drought, the lowest level of the past 20 years.

    Meanwhile, the operating hours of wind power generating units plunged by 144 hours in 2011 despite an increase of 48.16 per cent in on-grid wind power output.

    The operating hours of solar power generating units also declined in spite of the tripling of installed capacity of solar PV power. “

  4. Nuclear Power is the long term answer without a doubt. Iran knows it. France knows it. Canada knows it. China knows it. India knows it. England knows it.

    The people pushing solar power and wind mills are the some people protesting Nuclear power in the 1970’s. The only solution to to the green activism is old age and Alzheimers. Surely it comes quickly. Amen.

  5. Gee, post a link to Wen Jiabao’s full speech why don’cha. Decoded, all it means is that China will result construction on the four plants on which world was suspended following Fukushima.

    As for the phrase “China to drop solar energy” … neither this phrase, nor any phrase like it, appears anywhere in Wen Jiabao’s speech.

    Engineering-minded and economics-minded folks who want to know what’s *REALLY* going in China—regarding green energy technologies—need to read “Why Boston Power Went to China” in the most recent issue of MIT Technology Review (a Google search will find it).

  6. Woh. I was driving along Point Grey Rd in Vancouver BC. Canada, and I heard a loud explosion from the direction of David Fruit Fly Suzuki Water front mansion, I wander if it’s his head exploding. can somebody report on Al Gore? – Sarc off

  7. The usual suspects constantly laud China as the truly “green” country. I give them credit, they have used the press to give the world the impression they are very green. In actuality, they have been using PR to encourage the western world to continue wasting their resources on wind and solar and to buy their products. This development shows the curtain has been pulled aside and true strategy Chinese strategy is revealed. We should do the same!

  8. As an aside, every time I read “I can hear Joe Romm’s head exploding”, I think of Kenny Everett.

    All the same, I think Toby above has hit the nail on the head.

  9. Maybe I should move to China. At least their leaders seem to do things in a manner that makes sense. The US leaders either do nothing or do things that defy rational explanation. I have and idea: Let’s not use our internal natural resources for energy because it will produce CO2 (a plant food). Heck, everyone knows CO2 is a dangerous gas – Right??? Al Gore said it so it must be true. Sigh…

  10. I always thought China would continue with wind and solar as long as the European Union continued with their insane carbon credit plan, a bunch of which was headed to China. With the EU falling on hard economic times perhaps the carbon credit plan is being back-burnered.

  11. Except during the worst years of Mao, China has always been strictly pragmatic and experimental. I suspect Mao gave the current older generation a permanent and extreme allergy to all sorts of theory and ideology.

    We should follow their lead. Try things, see what works. Do what works. Don’t do what fails.

    Used to be the American way.

    Instead, we’ve been following Mao since 1989. Following Correct Thought straight into the national grave. The deeper we dig, the more strictly and Diligently we follow the book.

  12. Any bets they will beat the USA/Europe to LFTR? Fusion? They have a very fascinating angle on fusion and I haven’t heard any updates for a few years now. Did someone just make a breakthrough on sustained fusion? Oh Mr Chairman ….

    I wouldn’t bet against them getting to it first. They understand the concept of base load energy supply. The solar and wind will probably be used in rural areas to help them have at least some energy for phones etc without the huge cost of running lines. Practical wins the day.

  13. China is also working on a program, with Bill Gates as an investor, of fast neutron reactors to use for recycling nuclear fuel. China will have a program of massive energy production without the nuclear waste issue we have. Actually, China is implementing what was the original US nuclear energy program until Jimmy Carter decided not to recycle spent fuel.

  14. China’s policy has always been to subsidize manufacturing and sell that junk to us while “going through the motions” of using it themselves. They’ll be quite pleased to continue selling it to us. And we marvel that their leaders think themselves ever so much smarter than ours?

  15. Paul Westhaver says:
    April 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm
    Nuclear Power is the long term answer without a doubt. Iran knows it. France knows it. Canada knows it. China knows it. India knows it. England knows it.

    The people screaming that we’re screwing over future generations by not adopting their agenda are the ones who are doin’ the screwin’. Odd how that always seems to be the case…

  16. Lord Timothy of Edsion says:
    April 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm
    Gee, post a link to Wen Jiabao’s full speech why don’cha. .
    As for the phrase “China to drop solar energy” … neither this phrase, nor any phrase like it, appears anywhere in Wen Jiabao’s speech.

    =================================================
    Except this bit. The message is clear enough.
    “We will prevent blind expansion in our capacity to manufacture solar energy and wind power equipment.”

  17. Re: R. de Haan says:
    April 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    “Fukushima 4 potential for global disaster or… another propagandistic attempt to beef up UN powers?”

    Tip over that spent-fuel pool at the top floor of Fukushima Unit 4 and you’ll see why the U.S. Navy was pulling ships and personnel out of a wide swath around the plant during the original crisis. Reactor building #4 is leaning like the Tower of Pisa and propped up by hastily constructed reinforcements. That structural mess is at the opposite end of the engineering spectrum from “nuclear grade and seismically qualified”.

  18. I wonder if China will start building thorium reactors. If they are successful in designing and building them they will eat our lunch. The media has so thoroughly brain washed everything nuclear it will be impossible for us to develop our own thorium reactors. In the meanwhile the knuckle headed environmentalists and their useful idiots, the mainstream media, will continue to hobble our nuclear industry.

  19. Is it a smile I see on that oversize picture of Mao like maybe he believes he was right to have had his red shirts drive the schoolteachers to the farms where they could at least provide some value to society?

  20. “Lord Timothy of Edsion says:
    April 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm
    Gee, post a link to Wen Jiabao’s full speech why don’cha.”

    From your link to Mr Wen’s speech (English translation):

    “We will optimize the energy structure, promote clean and efficient use of traditional energy, safely and effectively develop nuclear power, actively develop hydroelectric power, tackle key problems more quickly in the exploration and development of shale gas, and increase the share of new energy and renewable energy in total energy consumption.”

    In other words:

    New energy = nuclear and shale gas
    Renewable energy = hydro

    This is clearly a policy position, but enough quotable code has been inserted for green lefties to let the West sink itself into the sunset if it chooses. The Great Game continues.

  21. Translation: OK, we in China back off … provided that you Americans don’t increase tariffs on Chinese solar panels.

    Because the real story is really simple: China is holding back its burgeoning economic and technological strength in green energy technology … solely because we threatened to impose a tariff.

    Sorry WUWT … your understanding of this story is utterly backwards and wrong. The WUWT headline should read “China: Full Speed Ahead on Solar Technology.”

  22. I wonder if China will start building thorium reactors.

    No. They are building conventional uranium/plutonium reactors. They will likely go to a plutonium fuel cycle just as the US had planned to do and as Japan is moving toward. It is quite safe, actually and REDUCES nuclear proliferation if done correctly. You turn U-238 into P-239 in a fast neutron reactor. It converts natural uranium, even depleted uranium that we use for bullets, into nuclear fuel and can be used to reprocess spent fuel rods. The key is to ensure you “poison” it with P-240. P-240 is nearly impossible to separate from P-239, it makes perfectly good reactor fuel, but is absolutely poison for a weapon. P-240 undergoes spontaneous fission, something you do NOT want to happen in a weapon.

    China is currently building several Westinghouse AP-1000 plants and their modified version, the CAP-1400. They are realizing the goals laid out in the December 2005 article in Scientific American entitled “Smarter Use of Nuclear Waste”.

    Russia is also building a fast neutron reactor, the SVBR-100, which will also be built in China. This unit is a fast neutron reactor that also generates electricity and is used for water desalinization.

    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN_Heavy_metal_power_reactor_slated_for_2017_2303122.html

    The US is quickly moving from world leader in nuclear power to a third-rate country.

  23. We could have so much cheap, clean, electrical power in this country that the utilities would be absolutely begging us to use more of it. China is realizing that dream. We are being stupid.

  24. It’s very clear that the only reason that China was heavily invested in solar panel production was to cut costs to the bone and drive out all the competition, leaving the gullible West to buy their product. Now that solar panel prices have plummeted and most competitors are belly up, it’s safe to announce what China plans to do internally for its own power sources. Their next step will be to become the low bidder on new, exportable power sources. They would have done it sooner but they could see that the USA has been sound asleep for the last 30 years.

  25. The mentioned “Why Boston Power Went to China”

    http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/39273/page1/

    Its sort of funny. The mayor of Beijing has a policy that gas powered cars can only run certain days, while electric can run constantly (given the polluting nature of China’s electricity, I’m guessing the main concern is keeping pollution out of the capital). This is needless to say a great opportunity for doing business which is what the head of a small battery company is talking about.

    Aside from the market, the thing she says she likes is the political attention. In the US, she wasn’t connected and didn’t lobby enough, so she didn’t get any stimulus funds. The Chinese proceeded to provide the funds and some more (125 versus 100 million). Oh, and she also got a meeting with the premier.

    I think it is clear China is trying to get as much technical expertise developed in their country by inviting in foreign firms and slowly getting them to do R&D work in country. I’m not sure what you can draw from this about China’s envionmental policy.

  26. Why Green Energy produces Red Ink

    Generating electricity from solar panels in cold, cloudy Northern Europe is like growing paw-paws in Iceland – it can be done, but who would be so silly as to try?

    Germany was silly enough to try. Germany gets about an hour of useful sunshine per day in winter – solar power is weakest just when they need it most. But they have installed about half of the world’s solar panels. Germany’s Q-Cells, once the world’s biggest manufacturer of solar panels, just went broke. So did four other German solar companies.

    Sunny California also tried, but despite a half billion dollar loan from US tax payers, solar panel manufacturer Solyndra went broke. Solar Trust of America, recently offered $2 billion in loan guarantees by US tax payers, has also filed for bankruptcy.

    All the European PIIGS have tried – and the waste of taxpayer funds on failing green energy schemes is a major reason for their parlous financial state.

    The only sensible participant in the solar industry is China – they make panels very cheaply using coal power and sell them to green dreamers.

    The reason green energy creates so much red ink is pretty obvious – it just needs one day’s observation of the sun.

    Full strength solar energy is available around midday for around 4 hours each day, providing the skies are clear, and there is no dust on the panels, and you are in a tropical zone. For the other 20 hours of the day, most electricity must come from reliable energy sources like gas, hydro, coal or nuclear.

    With all this compelling evidence of the failures of solar electricity, why is the Australian government frittering $1.5 billion on green toys like the Moree and Chinchilla Solar farms?

    Green gambling is for private speculators not for captive tax payers.

  27. Full strength solar energy is available around midday for around 4 hours each day, providing the skies are clear, and there is no dust on the panels, and you are in a tropical zone. For the other 20 hours of the day, most electricity must come from reliable energy sources like gas, hydro, coal or nuclear.

    As much as I am a proponent of nuclear power this is false. In the southwestern USA the average with flat panels over a year is 6.4 hours per day. For systems that track the sun this increases to almost ten hours per day.

    The department of Energy has a great site that gives the 30 year insolation values as recorded at airports around the country.

  28. They will be getting a letter from James Hansen in a verbose manner telling them how naughty they are and how they should follow the rest of us into darkness and cold!
    James Bull

  29. Friar Marquette says:
    April 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm
    Because the real story is really simple: China is holding back its burgeoning economic and technological strength in green energy technology … solely because we threatened to impose a tariff.

    The real story is really simpler than that — China overproduced solar panels and now they’re a glut on the market. China’s “holding back its burgeoning economic and technological strength in green energy technology” because it can’t *sell* it.

  30. James says
    Except this bit. The message is clear enough.
    “We will prevent blind expansion in our capacity to manufacture solar energy and wind power equipment.”
    ———–
    James this does not mean they are dropping solar and wind production. It means they are going to give it more careful consideration. The consequence for all you know might be an actual reduction, a reduction in the rate of increase, continuing the current rate, or even increasing the rate.

  31. Bib Forbes says
    With all this compelling evidence of the failures of solar electricity, why is the Australian government frittering $1.5 billion on green toys like the Moree and Chinchilla Solar farms?
    ———-
    Because the evidence you cited does not apply to Australia, and particularly for the areas where these power stations are being built. Australia is not called the “sunburnt country” for nothing.

  32. Just another example of why in 25 years from now there will only be one global supoerpower – and it won’t be the USA.

  33. polistra says:
    April 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm
    “Except during the worst years of Mao, China has always been strictly pragmatic and experimental. ”

    What would be the worst years of Mao? The Great Leap Forward or the Culture Revolution?

    Friar Marquette says:
    April 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm
    “Because the real story is really simple: China is holding back its burgeoning economic and technological strength in green energy technology … solely because we threatened to impose a tariff.”

    No; since april 01 Germany, the biggest market for solar panels, has cut FIT’s drastically and will from now on review and adapt the tariffs monthly, not yearly. So in the run-up to this change PV was installed in a frantic pace, 3 GWpeak in the first 3 months of this year to be able to enjoy the FIT before the cut for the next 20years by the developers.

    Also, their “technological strength” in making PV panels is based on the combination of three factors:
    -Lower wages
    -Cheaper energy (produced by coal plants, not by PV panels)
    -German fab machinery (Roth&Rau, Centrotherm)

    In other words, buy a fab, produce panels, anywhere on the planet. You could do it in Washington; there’s a lot of cheap hydropower there.

  34. “Vietnam plans 90 new coal-based power plants by 2025, investing US$83bn to add 106GW of coal-based capacity to the sector. Vietnam will become increasingly dependent on fossil fuels with the share of renewable sources (excluding biomass) falling, bucking the trend in favor of sustainable development. The share of fossil fuels in the total primary energy supply is forecast to rise from 42% in 2002 to 69% in 2030 while at the same time, renewable sources will see their part reduced from 58% to 22% over the same period.Drought-induced low water levels in its numerous hydro power dams have caused rolling black-outs and its expected that the forecast rise in demand for power will exacerbate these deficits unless additional capacity is brought online.

    Vietnam prepares to begin one of the world’s most ambitious nuclear power programs, it is scrambling to raise from scratch a field of experts needed to operate and regulate nuclear power plants. The government, which is beefing up nuclear engineering programs at its universities and sending increasing numbers of young technicians abroad, says Vietnam will have enough qualified experts to safely manage an industry that is scheduled to grow from one nuclear reactor in 2020 to 10 reactors by 2030.”

    http://www.ifandp.com/article/0013975.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/world/asia/vietnams-nuclear-dreams-blossom-despite-doubts.html?pagewanted=all

    BTW: Vietnam has a population 87,000,000.

  35. http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/ElectricPower/8050022

    To meet electricity demand, CEC estimates that China’s national installed capacity will reach 1.463 billion kW by 2015, including 342 million kW of hydropower, 928 million kW of coal-fired power, 43 million kW of nuclear power, 40 million kW of natural gas-fired power, 100 million kW of wind power, 5 million kW of solar power, and 5 million kW of biological and other energies.

    I wouldn’t call it an ‘about face’. More likely a realization that new ‘solar subsidies’ in the developed world will make demand for solar less of a ‘growth issue’

  36. I fully expect that for the next ten years liberal commentators like Bill Mahar will continue to laud China for being so advanced in the use of Solar and Wind power. They didn’t let the facts get in the way before, don’t see them letting them get in the way now.

  37. China might have a cap on carbon: At $2.0 per tonne and then swap it from Australia for $23 per tonne, for Australian coal making a huge profit. “Plans of mice and men”

  38. harrywr2 says:
    April 8, 2012 at 5:28 am

    http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/ElectricPower/8050022

    To meet electricity demand, CEC estimates that China’s national installed capacity will reach 1.463 billion kW by 2015, including 342 million kW of hydropower, 928 million kW of coal-fired power, 43 million kW of nuclear power, 40 million kW of natural gas-fired power, 100 million kW of wind power, 5 million kW of solar power, and 5 million kW of biological and other energies.

    I wouldn’t call it an ‘about face’. More likely a realization that new ‘solar subsidies’ in the developed world will make demand for solar less of a ‘growth issue’
    =========================================================================
    Also from Platts:
    By 2020, China’s national installed capacity is estimated to reach a total of 1.935 billion kW, including
    1. 420 million kW (23%) of hydropower,
    2. 1.17 billion kW (60%) of coal-fired power,
    3. 80 million kW (4%) of nuclear power,
    4. 50 million kW (2.6%) of natural gas-fired power,
    5. 180 million kW (9.3% installed = 2.3% net) of wind power,
    6.. 25 million kW (1.2% installed = 1/5 or 0.3%) of solar power, and
    7. 10 million kW (0.5%) of biological and other energies.

    I call that an about-face w.r.t. solar power. It is a token fraction. So is wind power with its gas backup.

  39. One day anthropologists will debate the role the rusting hulks of mega-windmills played in the economic decline of American society. A line of jagged broken teeth to expensive to pull to far gone to fix will dot our countryside like the stone heads on Easter Island. I wonder what the arguments were against the mindless head-building? What was the name of the community organizer they followed off the cliff? As for our Chinese friends they will falter when the global dynamic becomes less favorable to them. At that point they will hide the slide until a major fiscal- political crises results. aka-the american mortgage market meltdown.

  40. This is hardly surprising since the Politburo is dominated by engineers who can actually do math and some of whom have actual experience in power generation. This puts them way ahead of lawyers that can’t figure out the tip on a restaurant check without a calculator.

  41. “China will instead develop nuclear power in 2012, actively develop hydroelectric power, tackle key problems more quickly in the exploration and development of shale gas, and increase the share of new energy and renewable energy [meaning, primarily, hydropower] in total energy consumption.”

    Wow, sounds like a very sensible energy policy. Any chance we can get that in the US?

  42. Nuclear is very polluting. What will they do with nuclear waste? Who sold them the technology? Smart decision?

  43. The report says that:

    China aims to increase the share of renewable energy consumption to 11.4 per cent of total energy consumption in China by the end of 2015.

    Am I reading this wrong? or is China still interested in renewable energy enough to keep increasing its use? Is that because that’s what they want to do? or is that because they have this multi-decade plan to lure westerners into it?

  44. If the CAGW alarmists actually believed their own baloney they would be shouting this decision joyfully from the roof tops.

  45. One other thing. Installed capacity is a meaningless way to compare power sources. Wind, solar and even hydro all have capacity hugely larger than they have actual production. Using installed capacity as a comparison is a method used by the BS artists to distract from the fact that those methods are not producing and will not produce the needed power. For example world wide the installed capacity for wind power is always at least 5 times the actual production. Meanwhile for nuclear power installed and actual are essentially synonyms.

  46. Only be reading between the lines can you see that China has given up on renewables. At face value, they are going to expand them, but at the same time go more coal and nuclear.

    Peculiar: wind systems at 148% of last year, output essentially the same. Solar up 3X by system, output down.

    There was a report before of wind turbines being built but not connected to the grid, but they still got the subsidy. Maybe what we see is the logical expansion of a corrupt power generation group.

    When the economics don’t make sense in China, with its low manpower cost, where can they work?

  47. Hydropower to contribute two-thirds of renewable energy

    This is a very important point. Often the term “renewable energy” is thought to mean only those dead-end, science-projecty things like large scale solar panel or windmill industrial power generation facilities (euphemistically called “farms”). The implication being that only the wind and sun are renewable. But hydro electric is also renewable… the rivers keeps flowing and water keeps running through the turbines.

    So when someone says that some government is successful at creating X% of their electrical needs from renewable sources, you should ask how much of that comes from good old fashioned hydro-power, and how much comes from inefficient, unreliable wind and solar.

  48. Re Chinese energy: We are often told China commissions a new coal-fired power plant every two weeks. Well, that sounds like a lot of new capacity. However, coal-fired plants do not last forever. How many of those new plants are replacing an old, inefficient Mao-era plant? A sensible power management policy is not only about new plants, it is about clearing out the inefficient old ones and increasing their total generating capacity at the same time.

    Coal costs money. At some point it is worth replacing old equipment even if it is not worn out yet. Yes, I expect the ‘new plants’ meme has been used to promote alarm, so what is the real change in the total number of coal-fired generating stations? The air quality in Beijing has improved a great deal as the old plants have been removed.

  49. A couple of points of interest. China’s premier Wen Jiabao states that China is to drive up consumer demand. Looks like the Greenie dream of everyone living in a Yurt has been blown. With the Chinese population being encouraged to become consumers there is no hope of a reduction in their emissions per capita. Secondly China will trial cap and trade, so whether they are genuinely in the carbon tax meme or just paying lip service is debatable. As others have said I don’t see where China has stated that they are dropping wind and solar, just that they are controlling the rampant expansion of production in these fields. Possibly to stabilise prices. (” We will prevent blind expansion in our capacity to manufacture solar energy and wind power equipment”).

  50. Wow. And I just read this unusual statement:
    “With those levels of prices, solar PV (and solar thermal) are already much cheaper than “new-build” nuclear and new-build clean coal (clean is purely a marketing moniker, not actually clean). If you assume reasonable escalation rates for natural gas, renewables are also competitive with new natural gas electricity plants when considering long term costs, not just the short term view.”

    At this site: http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2012/04/07/clean-energys-pursuit-of-an-empty-prize/2/

    Someone sure screwed up – and for some reason, I don’t think it is the Chinese. I’ve been doing engineering too long, and looking for reasonable power options out in the boonies. Stringing power lines from ConEd is still sooooo much cheaper than renewable – in the desert, no less.

  51. LazyTeenager says:
    April 8, 2012 at 1:15 am

    James says
    Except this bit. The message is clear enough.
    “We will prevent blind expansion in our capacity to manufacture solar energy and wind power equipment.”
    ———–
    James this does not mean they are dropping solar and wind production. It means they are going to give it more careful consideration. The consequence for all you know might be an actual reduction, a reduction in the rate of increase, continuing the current rate, or even increasing the rate.

    The Chinese do not make off-hand or casual remarks. They are telling you that the demand for solar power is weakening and they will make the necessary adjustments. Otherwise they would have said “demand for solar and wind power remains strong” or “we are increasing our investment in solar and wind because demand is increasing”. So suck it up.

  52. CHINA TO DROP SOLAR ENERGY TO FOCUS ON NUCLEAR POWER

    The above plus the great efforts of the CAGW scammers will hasten the drive of Western Civilization into steady, genteel decline. Jobs have and are moving from California eastwards then Far eastwards. I’m lost for words.

  53. The Chinese gubment might be communist, but unlike the DOE, they have a firm grasp of basic math skills. They also know that the health and welfare of any society is directly related to the cost and availability of inexpensive and reliable energy. Nuclear power defines inexpensive
    and reliable (especially when you take DOE/NRE out of the equation). With nearly one billion citizens being dirt poor, the Chicoms are fully aware they do not have the luxury of taxing the crap out of their population to pay for wasteful and unproductive green science projects.

  54. Of course, this begs the following observation, it appears that the Chinese communists actually care about their country,,

    • @Steve from Rockwood

      This assumes that you know what they meant. But they meant is not exactly they said. My take is that once you start reading between the lines, you start reading your own lines too and… that is, at the very least is a tricky proposition.

  55. An interesting paper on the Chinese “goals” is “au/acsc/171/2000-04″ found using google. Pay attention to parts 2 & 3. This is dated april 2000 but is AFAIK very far from a joke & 12 years later prove still valid.
    The way the Chinese “bleed to death” the US economy is frightening, & the way US is falling into this trap & spending itself aways is even more disturbing…

    The US way: Hey let’s chase bearded boogy man & create ennemy everywhere at the same time, destroy every principles upon our nation was built, turn against our own people, print money like crazy & burn it in hopeless “green” projet. Oh & don’t forget to let all of our production capability evaporate to the benefit of China…

    The Chinese way: Hey let’s the invincible giant digest himself from within, provide him w/t what is required to complete the job. It can take long time for completion but we are patient as our political system is not based on short term showbussiness. Oh & when they come to flex their big muscles in our vicinity, it will consolidate our peoples against the ennemy & effectively make inexistent any possible dissention…

  56. Could any one please give me some numbers regarding the economic effect of the ongoing Climategate (in terms of GDP)?

    I buy the idea that there is some degree alarmism and rash/misguided/ideologigical decisions that have been made regarding energy… but that said, what are we talking about? I know billlions and billions but how much in a given year, over next 10 years and what is the worst, mid and best case scenario we’re facing?

    I would really want to make sure that the boggeyMan is not ideological on both sides…

  57. To be more precise regarding OP, China use ‘demand based production’ to develop it’s infrastructure. It does not need to believe in any future for PV cells. As long the demand is present it will be mfg.

    The objective is to get China ASAP out of “medieval era”. Think of all the engineer, technician & production worker’s job that are created. They even built cities out of nowhere just to keep the wheel turning.

    When it come to real “hard” energy production we see that the trend is more in the direction of hydro & nuclear for them.

  58. I have been saying for a few years that pragmatic China and India will finally lead us out of the wilderness created by our tolerance of the renewable idiocies and the political correctness that underlies it.

  59. Right now, China has 14 nuclear reactors in service and 25 under construction. Government planning expects a total of between 50 and 80 reactors in service by 2020. By 2050, China expects to have in service approximately 400-500 reactors. Right now, nearly all of these reactors are pressure vessel types. However, China has indicated strong interest in variable fuel cycles. That means they will be doing more with heavy water, natural uranium fueled reactors, of which they already have two.

    The vast majority of China’s reactors are being and will be built in the southern half of the country which is experiencing the most rapid growth. Most of China’s coal reserves are found in Manchuria. Expansion of nuclear power at such a rate is not optional for China. Transportation infrastructure cannot meet the requirement for southern China if it was forced to rely on coal. The quantity of coal required also prohibits large imports as well due to limited harbour and docking capacity. China is essentially caught in the same dilemma as was France in the late 1960s, early 1970s. The volume of coal required has simply become too large to move over the distance required.

    The same situation prevails in India. Most of its coal is in Assam in the northeast. But most of India’s rapid economic growth is taking place elsewhere. The Indian rail network is already heavily overloaded and cannot handle any increase in coal shipments.

    In sum, the Asian giants have no choice. It’s build nuclear or do without electricity. Hydro cannot begin to keep up with demand. Vast as Three Gorges is, its construction only met about six months of China’s electricity demand growth. Conservation will do nothing. China is effectively rationing electricity now in large parts of the country.

    @Mike Wryley and Toby, whatever China is, it is NOT communism. Communism is a system of economics in which no private property is allowed, and everything is owned by the state. That is not what prevails in China today.

    In fact, the current Chinese system, the way it delegates authority down to provincial and municipal levels, far more resembles the old Imperial mandarinate. It is a massive reversal of Maoism in that the current system actively represses the rise of charismatic leaders. About the only difference from the old Imperial system is the absence of an emperor.

  60. cgh,
    Actually, if the gubment wants your property, you get a new postal code.
    Communism in theory and practice have always been two differenent animals, the state has immense comtrol over most industry, and can pretty much put a bullet in your head any time they
    see fit. If you have a better term, let me know, I’m open to suggestions. Maybe Sinoprogressive ?

  61. Mike, the fact that the government wants your property is not unique to communism. Communism is unique in that it wants ALL property. All governments use power to seize property in some fashion or other. It’s also not unique that the government can execute its citizens for what the government deems undesirable political activity (Pinochet, Franco, the Argentine Junta, assorted African and Middle-East dictators, etc.)

    Fact is, China’s political situation fits nothing well with its distinctive mix of private enterprise, which is totally abhorrent to communism, and oligarchic rule. Moreover, the Little Red Book and the various tracts of Marx and Engels have been thoroughly banished to the rubbish bin. Any analysis based on traditional left-right Western politics simply fails. What’s taking its place? A revival of Confucianism. It’s not back to the future; in a sense it’s forward to the past.

    As I said before, it most closely mirrors the Empire before 1902. So the best term for it is simply The Mandarinate.

  62. chg,

    I can’t argue with you very hard here, as my previous comment about Chinese communists
    “caring” about their country was supposed to be a sarcastic commentary on our US communists,
    Or fascists, or bureaucrats, or whatever you want to call them, and the disservice they perform on this country. And the abuse of eminent domain, and then there was that thing down in Waco,,,,

  63. You have to give it these chaps, they have become the world’s bankers, they do not waste cash on nonsense, their politicians get it wrong, they are OUT, unlike ours.

  64. cgh says:
    April 9, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Transportation infrastructure cannot meet the requirement for southern China if it was forced to rely on coal. The quantity of coal required also prohibits large imports as well due to limited harbour and docking capacity. China is essentially caught in the same dilemma as was France in the late 1960s, early 1970s. The volume of coal required has simply become too large to move over the distance required.

    The same situation prevails in India. Most of its coal is in Assam in the northeast. But most of India’s rapid economic growth is taking place elsewhere. The Indian rail network is already heavily overloaded and cannot handle any increase in coal shipments.

    So are we to understand that it makes more sense to build nuclear power plants than to increase the capacity of the railroads?

    ‘Sounds like a bogus argument from here, but one of the more creative ones to come along; right up there with CO2 is bad, therefore we can’t have coal plants – at least in the industrialized West, where our CO2 is very naughty, indeed.

  65. China is selling solar panels and windmills to western countries who are subsidising their green nonsense with oodles of taxpayer money.
    The subsidies are dying, so there is no one left to buy these white elephants. Is it so surprising that China is no longer investing in manufacturing now unsaleable products?

    I laugh at the Thorium reactor proponents. You cannot design and license a Thorium reactor in less than 25 years, from the day you have a several of Billion dollars and decide to start. Fusion plants will be the overhwhelmingly favorite and much much safer, in reality by that time.

    Why do these proponents like Thorium? Because some masked, anti-nuclear, greenie fool has told them they can be safer, and more proliferation proof. So don’t build nuclear today. But the reality is that U233 is also fissionable, so they are no safer at all, and no civilian reactor any where in the world has been the source of a nuclear weapon. meanwhile the civilian reactors ahve turned over 10,000 nuclear swords into plowshares,doing the world’s greatest nuclear deproliferation ever seen.

    The French are already reproocessing waste and eliminating 95% of what the Carterite fools wanted to bury in Yucca Mountain in Death Valley. They are also burning more than 1/2 of all the long lived radioactive waste, the transuranic even numbered isotopes. A breeder which is dangerous or an accellerator or safer yet a Fusion reactor can consume the other 1/2 of 1% that isi long lived waste too. With no long lived radioactive waste it is easy to store teh remaining degrading fission product fragments that will be safe and below background in two hundred years or so.

    “Actinide Burning” is the technology that eliminates long lived radioactive waste, please learn about it, and we should be doing it now in our 104 specialized LWR incinerators.

    Unfortunately it can’t happen until the ignorant true beleivers who don’t think, and only chant the Party line, are all tossed out on their ear. That can only come with a change of Administration and adults are put back in charge.

  66. Reply to Crispin in Johansburg.

    Actually China is adding about 1,000 MW of coal fired electric generating capacity every 6 days. A 1,000 MW coal fired electric generating unit (EGU) consumes about 3.0 million MT/year, so 60,000 MW of new coal-fired capacity will increase coal demand by ~180 million MT/year. Last year China increased its coal production by ~250 million MT plus also slightly increased its net coal imports (to put this growth in perspective US coal production has been flat at ~1.0 billion MT/year for over a decade). Besides increased coal demand for power generation, increased steel production (China produces 50+% of world steel production), and increased coal consumption by industry (strong push to go from residual fuel oil firing to coal firing) accounted for most of the remaining increase in China’s coal demand. It should be pointed out that China’s 250 million MT increase in coal production in 2011 was LESS than their average increase over the last five years.

    China is not shutting down old coal fired power plants because they routinely run into power shortages in the winter (heating demand is more important than A/C demand). China is retrofitting air pollution control equipment to existing coal-fired EGUs. China is easily the world’s largest market for coal-fired EGU air pollution control equipment.

  67. Will Smith says:
    April 12, 2012 at 8:17 am
    Of course China is not dropping one of its valuable exports, nor undermining the flawed green
    rationale for using them, but the Chinese can’t make any better use of intermittent, unreliable sources of power than anyone else who has tried them.

    What a surprise to find someone who believes Chinese PR/propaganda!

    see below, from the post directly above yours…
    SLEcoman says:
    April 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Reply to Crispin in Johansburg.

    Actually China is adding about 1,000 MW of coal fired electric generating capacity every 6 days

  68. Slightly botched format of post above due to the incredible, shrinking “Leave a Reply” box here.

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