Australia Energy Prices. Source Australian Government

ABC: Why Australia Stopped Manufacturing Solar Panels

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to the Australian educated founder of the Chinese solar industry, “I really didn’t have much confidence in running a business over there”.

The world is hungry for solar panels. Why did we stop making them?

ABC Science / 

By technology reporter James Purtill
Posted Yesterday at 5:00am, updated Yesterday at 6:38am

Given we have the highest uptake of solar in the world, you might expect that some of these panels would be made here.

But with a few exceptions, that’s never the case.

Twenty years ago it was different: Australia appeared set to be a global player in the small but promising industry of manufacturing panels that could extract energy from the sun.

And then everything changed.

Over 20 years ago, the Harbour City was preparing to host the Olympic Games and the BP Solar factory was in full swing, making solar cells that were assembled into panels and then installed at the athletes’ village, promoted as one of the largest solar suburbs in the world.

But less than a decade after the 2000 Olympic Games, the factory closed.

Many of the leading lights of the UNSW research team moved to China, where they set up the country’s first solar PV factories.

Dr Shi completed a PhD under Professor Green in record time and then stayed on in Sydney to do more research.

He took a gamble in 2000, moving back to China to found a solar manufacturing company, Suntech.

When I was in Australia, I was just a scholar and a student. I really didn’t have much confidence in running a business over there.

“Also the cost of labour in Australia is fairly high.”

Cheap Chinese panels largely wiped out the local solar manufacturing industry.

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-09-19/solar-panels-why-australia-stopped-making-them-china/100466342

The cost of doing business is a big problem in Australia. This time that cost hurt us. Australia could have been the global centre for solar manufacturing, but we missed out because one brilliant Australian educated Chinese scientist was put off by the problems he would have encountered setting up his solar panel business in Australia.

There is another problem Dr. Shi didn’t mention directly. Australia has very high energy costs.

In China’s coal powered economy, energy is very cheap. Under the last years of President Obama and under President Trump, US energy prices became competitive; the US fracking driven manufacturing boom, the job reshoring phenomenon, proved that the cost of energy is a crucial factor in decisions of where companies build their factories. And there are few processes which are more energy intensive than manufacturing solar panels.

It wasn’t always this way. Australia enjoyed a manufacturing boom for much of the later half of the 20th century, largely because of our cheap coal powered electricity grid. Then in the early 90s the Aussie government became obsessed with wind and solar, and government bureaucracies started seizing ever greater control of business affairs through a deluge of new regulations, and it all went to hell.

Now we have high energy costs, a high cost of doing business, and an economy which is absolutely not the first choice for entrepreneurs choosing a good place to start out or create new manufacturing jobs.

Some entrepreneur friends moved to Canada just before the Covid outbreak, for easier access to Canada and North America’s capital markets. Their product could become a new social media sensation. Leaving Australia was an absolute condition of receiving the investment they needed; the Angel investors they were negotiating with did not believe their business had a reasonable chance of succeeding if they stayed in Australia.

4.8 22 votes
Article Rating
191 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
September 19, 2021 10:18 pm

Chinese solar panels are cheap because of use of coal and forced labour (modern slavery).

Last edited 1 month ago by Phillip Bratby
Rory Forbes
Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 19, 2021 10:46 pm

And you can take that to the bank. China’s rapid success has followed its most lucrative import … other people’s ideas. Why waste any effort innovating when you can just pilfer the novelty you need? The problem with that is you get to the market sooner by making and protecting your own ideas, but Chinese don’t educate for innovation. They educate for precision and copying.

Alex
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 20, 2021 12:05 am

Wrong narrative.
The Chinese learned fast and good.
Now they they are developing new original ideas, pushing the technology quite faster than the West does.
The Chinese became leaders in the innovation.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Alex
September 20, 2021 12:28 am

Naw, you’re dreaming. They didn’t unlearn 5000 years of tradition and suddenly adopt Western European ways. I don’t think you understand the Chinese nearly as well as you think you do. Sure, a few came here to complete their educations, but once back in China they revert back. Confucius has a long reach. Innovation wasn’t one of his guiding principles.

Derg
Reply to  Alex
September 20, 2021 4:09 am

Thx Xi

LdB
Reply to  Alex
September 20, 2021 5:26 am

The Chinese became leaders in stealing technology …. there fixed it for you

mjc
Reply to  Alex
September 20, 2021 10:34 am

Innovation is anathema to CHINA.

Imitation and duplication fairly scream CHINA

Don
Reply to  Alex
September 20, 2021 10:56 am

Interesting. I notice the Southern plantation slave economy quickly learned and adapted to the cotton gin and became King Cotton. I see the Chinese and Silicon Valley have quickly learned and adapted to the digital revolution and became King WYSIWYG. Enjoy the Oriental despotism, and no, machine code is not racist

jono1066
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 20, 2021 5:06 am

depends what you mean by buying ideas,
been there selling manufacturing technology over 25 years ago in Anhui provence,
The typical factory meeting was me and a translator, the factory manager and 5 or 6 technicians. In a lot of cases some of their equipment I would have loved to have back in the UK. They buy “into” the technology (which is your buying ideas ) but only to learn what its about, they then go into ideas mode and create the next step.
I started buying equipment from the region a few years later, better, cheaper & faster with more knowledge than I could buy in the UK
never underestimate the power of grey matter no matter where in the world it is found.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  jono1066
September 20, 2021 10:45 am

but only to learn what its about,

That’s what I’m referring to … once the basic system, structure or mechanism is presented, it requires little to use that lead to add a step up. I didn’t suggest they’re stupid or lacked ideas. They simply prefer to steal them, then adapt them to their own needs (but often without all the safety features and protections our regulators demand).

jim duncan
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 20, 2021 4:47 pm

The Chinese have come a long way since the Jesuits presented the Emperor with wind up clock but no keys. When the clock stopped the Jesuits got invited into the forbidden city to wind the clocks – up until then no foreigners.

They do innovate but without hoovering up other peoples IP its at a glacial pace.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  jim duncan
September 20, 2021 5:53 pm

The Chinese have come a long way since the Jesuits

I dare say that’s true of a tiny few, largely Western educated Chinese. It is surprisingly less so of the vast majority. Even communism wasn’t able to destroy Confucianism.

mjc
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 20, 2021 10:33 am

A most creative way of explaining the Chinese economy is based on industrial espionage and low quality.

“China’s rapid success has followed its most lucrative import … other people’s ideas.”

Rory Forbes
Reply to  mjc
September 20, 2021 11:12 am

China has also benefited from American’s wonderful gift of generosity and trust arising from supreme confidence in her ability to overcome any difficulty.

Anthony
Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 20, 2021 12:55 am

Britain never had slaves, well not since the Romans left…. Only in the Colonies did they have slaves and that was banned in 1806…

griff
Reply to  Anthony
September 20, 2021 1:13 am

not quite right: in Viking times and early post 1066 period, there were slaves.

Certainly there were no slaves on English soil after the 12th century: An English court case of 1569 ruled that English law could not recognise slavery. This ruling was upheld by the Lord Chief Justice in 1701 when he ruled that a slave became free as soon as he arrived in England. 

the slave trade was abolished in 1807, slaves were not freed until 1833.

The Royal Navy spent the 19th century fighting and blocading slave traders.

HotScot
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 2:32 am

Slavery is still a feature across the world, just not practiced by civilised society, although it exists in it’s midst.

But we don’t hear about it because it’s contrary to the self loathing narrative of the WOKE who would rather whine about historic injustice rather than actually tackle ongoing slavery because, it might offend, predominantly, the Muslim community across the world.

Ron Long
Reply to  HotScot
September 20, 2021 3:21 am

HotScot, a variation on slavery, indentured servitude, has also become a larger problem. This appears to be common in agricultural employment where housing, food, cerveza, etc are offered while accumulating a debt, tying the worker to the company.

Ron Long
Reply to  Ron Long
September 20, 2021 3:23 am

I should have read Eric Worrall below, he describes Indentured Servitude.

fretslider
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 5:00 am

 early post 1066 period, there were slaves.”

And none of them were black. And don’t forget the white people carried off into slavery from raids on South and South West England by the barbary (muslim) corsairs.

In fact, a large part of the Sharia is dedicated to the practice. 

LdB
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 5:30 am

So Griff why did you need this bill?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Slavery_Act_2015

5,219 offences and 276 prosecutions in 2019
https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CDP-2020-0068/CDP-2020-0068.pdf

Wrong yet again Griff :-).

Last edited 1 month ago by LdB
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 6:46 am

Indentured servants, with decades of working for free for others and being sold at will to others. No that’s not slavery, it’s real slavery with an excuse.

Ellen
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 9:46 am

One reason some places didn’t have slaves is that they used other words to describe the situation. In England, they were villeins, bound to the land they lived on and the lord that owned it. It wasn’t exactly slavery — more like 25% slavery — but still. If the lord sold his land to the baron next door, the villeins went with the land. The villeins had rights, but also duties; the lord got a portion of their labor tending his fields, and a portion of their produce.

Actually, that does sound a bit like taxpayers who don’t have the wherewithal to move. “Don’t call me, Saint Peter, ’cause I can’t go. I owe my soul to the company store.” That’s wage slavery there, it is. And indentured servitude has been mentioned. The only completely free person is the hermit or the castaway — and they still have to deal with Mother Nature.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 10:00 pm

Credit. Griff is mostly correct.

Remember these are 200 word summaries, not binding technical documents, so there is always going to be loopholes.

We, in the happy days of the 21st century, should be a bit careful in trying to assign our definitions onto historical practices. It is tempting to say the word ‘slave’ and associate it with masses of semi skilled labour, often of a different ethic background, being forced to work via the tip of a whip. Yes that is a correct definition for great parts of the 18th and 19th centuries, but does not automatically translate back in medieval and dark age periods.

There was, I believe, a practice in pre-Norman Briton where a struggling freeman could place his head in the hands of a local ‘lord’ and pledge him and his family to the lord in return for being provided for. That person would technically belong to the ‘lord’, but in return the ‘lord’ was required to provide for that person. In a broad sense it was welfare, but with strong terms and conditions, but in another broad sense it was also a form of slavery.

We must also be a tad careful when examining some of the ‘tenant’ relationships, ‘company store’ and ‘workhouse’ environments. I think we can more or less agree that what we would regard as ‘ethical’ actions were very rarely employed by the people running these organisations and most of them placed people in what were basically no win situations where they could neither afford to leave or prosper if they stayed there. It may also be argued that some of these situations were in some cases worse than slavery. Slaves were property, and property tended to get look after to some extent. Exploited employees still belongs to themselves, so if they became too sick to come to work they could be replaced with some of the other struggling poor.

Look, our histories – all of our histories – are filled with things we now look back at with a sense of confusion and horror. How could we ever allow this to happen? we ask ourselves, which is a good question, but not the best one. The better one is “How can we ensure it never happens again?”

Looking back in horror also ignores the fact that there are also parts of our histories that we can look back with in pride. We saw discomfort in the treatment of our fellow man and changed our culture as a result. We took stock at what we didn’t like and made laws to reform.

No the people and dates Young Griff mentioned may not have instantly stopped the misjustices against our fellows, but they were a start, and what is more many of our forefathers didn’t just make speeches, but set out to enforce the changes we felt morally about. The RN DID patrol for decades to shut down slave trading. There was no real economic advantage to this, and keeping all those ships involved cost massive amounts of money, but MORALLY the British decided they wanted to do this.

History is a funny place.

Also, solar panels don’t work covered in snow, you idiot.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Anthony
September 20, 2021 1:23 am

Although many Britons, and a few Yanks, were enslaved by the Barbary slavers.

Ron Long
Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 20, 2021 4:02 am

Tennessee Ernie Ford “…St. Peter don’t call me, cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the company coal.”

Ron Long
Reply to  Ron Long
September 20, 2021 4:50 am

I thought about my quote above, while eating breakfast, and remembering my mother listening to 16 tons on the radio, and thought I got the quote wrong. Here is the Tennessee Ernie Ford song 16 tons: “You load 16 tons, and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt. St. Peter don’t you call me cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the company store.”

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ron Long
September 20, 2021 4:56 am

That song became popular about the time I was old enough to start appreciating music.

“Another day older and deeper in debt”.

I understood what he was saying at five years old.

R Taylor
Reply to  Ron Long
September 20, 2021 4:58 am

Please, give Merle Travis the recognition he deserves.

David Thompson
Reply to  Ron Long
September 20, 2021 6:41 am

“I loaded 16 tones and what did I get? Another day older and deeper in debt. St. Peter don’t ya call me because I can’t go, I owe my soul to to the company store.”

At least as well as I can remember it. The Appalachian coal mines were so isolated that the miners depended on the company store for everything. And in the worst cases the company paid wages in company script that was only accepted at the store. In other words effective slavery.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 20, 2021 4:52 am

We have some of that “conditions indistinguishable from slavery” going on at the U.S. southern border. The Crime Cartels want to get paid for getting you across the U.S. border and they will hold you and your family hostage, in one way or another, until you do.

And then there is the actual slavery going on with forcing children and young females coming across the border, into prostitution.

And Joe Biden encourages this to happen. Does Biden care about anything other than poltical power and pushing his radical leftwing agenda? It seems not. Worst president ever.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 20, 2021 6:28 am

No way can you tie the industrial revolution to the end of slavery in Britain. The only actual slaves that needed liberating were brought as slaves from the Caribbean and American colonies, and there was never enough of them to be a significant source of labour.

The end of slavery and the industrial revolution were both products of the 18th century Enlightenment. And both owed more than a little to the rise of non-conformist religion and what we used to call the “protestant work ethic”

Bryan A
Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 20, 2021 6:05 pm

Since Slavery is the involuntary indenturement for life of an individual and Indentured servitude is the Voluntary act doing the same thing, indentured servitude is Voluntary Slavery but still slavery as in a workforce that isn’t paid for their labors

John Tillman
Reply to  Anthony
September 20, 2021 6:10 am

The slave trade was banned in 1807. Slavery was ended in 1834, but continued thereafter as part of the compensation program.

In 1834, 46,000 slave owners lived in Britain, chief among whom was Gladstone’s father.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/12/british-history-slavery-buried-scale-revealed

John Tillman
Reply to  Anthony
September 20, 2021 8:44 am

It had slaves for most of its history, to include serfs. The ancient Britons and Anglo-Saxons had slaves, then came serfdom under fuedal Norman lords.

Mr.
Reply to  Anthony
September 20, 2021 10:54 am

Anthony, ask the Irish farmers of the 1800s whether they were enslaved to English landlords, or they just worked their meagre plots because the pay and benefits were so fabulous.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 22, 2021 7:28 am

The industrial revolution long predated the end of slavery in the UK 1837

Editor
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
September 20, 2021 12:30 am

At our latitude (the UK) these things are almost useless . According to EU data installed UK electricity generating capacity is 66GW. Solar farms are extraordinarily inefficient, with installed capacity of 12GW but only 1GW actual output, so they typically work effectively for 11.5% of the year. Solar provides no power at all at night of course, and the amounts reduce as light levels drop after the peak summer months. In broad terms, a football sized field of Solar panels nominally supplies 90 homes, but actual output over the year will supply 10.
 
Installed capacity 16 GW for onshore wind, actual generation 3GW with 24% efficiency. Off shore wind 9GW installed, output 3GW, so 35% efficiency . Conventional power generation provides 90% efficiency. Govt estimates we will need at least 120GW by 2040.
 
Many solar panels used in the UK are sourced from China, with material and labour often provided by coerced workers, including persecuted Uighur Muslims from Xinjiang province, according to the BBC. An investigation by Sheffield Hallam University found almost half of the world’s supply of polysilicon – a key component of solar panels comes from this province. Many other sources worldwide are owned by the Chinese, who mine and process them in often appalling conditions in such places as the Congo, by virtual child slave labour. Bloomberg point out that Chinese panels are cheap because, ironically, massive amounts of coal -as well as cheap labour-are used in their production . The rare earths used are generally in short supply, and unless further large deposits are found we will run out of them sometime in the next decade.
 
Good quality panels may last up to 20 years but contain many permanent toxic materials such as Cadmium and according to Discover magazine are difficult and costly to recycle.
 
Renewables are not “Clean green energy,” nor ethical energy, nor cost effective, nor sustainable and not environmentally friendly. They are no practical answer to any energy question ever asked.

I do not know what the price of solar panels would be if they were ethically sourced and with full priced labour and real world power prices.

I suspect they would not be ‘cost effective’ (with or without the built in subsidy)

Tonyb

Anthony
Reply to  tonyb
September 20, 2021 12:58 am

Wait until they are covered in snow, which looking at this coming winter may find Northern Europe buried in the stuff…..

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Anthony
September 20, 2021 1:24 am

I’m ordering some coal.

Reply to  Anthony
September 20, 2021 5:02 am

Snow means the panels are too far north to be effective in the winter….even having motor controlled panels that track the sun are still too inefficient.

griff
Reply to  tonyb
September 20, 2021 1:14 am

Really they aren’t… just look at the Gridwatch figures for how much generated. and they work fine covered in snow.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 2:31 am

As it happens Griff I look everyday, call me parnoid if you like but I’ve been watching the current situation develop getting more worried by the day. I was a student and in my first jobs when we had the Three Day Week Not a experience I want to repeat.

I Actually charted performance using Gridwatch data for the year up to 31st Aug 2021. The absolute max of wind was 14.5GW and the average 7.5GW, but minimum was 0.6GW actually 594MW.

In winter Solar is a couple GW for a couple of hours, and the South of the UK hasn’t had a decent fall of snow that lay inches deep for several days for a long time.

HotScot
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 2:38 am

Hahahahahahahahahaha……..

“….and they work fine covered in snow”!

Dennis
Reply to  HotScot
September 20, 2021 3:45 am

And, it follows, work when covered in dust and on very hot days.

[sarc]

DaveS
Reply to  Dennis
September 21, 2021 4:41 am

I thought cleaning solar panels was one of the well-paid green jobs which we’re always being promised.

LdB
Reply to  HotScot
September 20, 2021 5:32 am

Apparently they work really well inside then … who needs sunlight 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by LdB
Dean
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 2:42 am

Really??

Given the amount of water required to be sourced in desert environments to wash fine dust off the panels, and keep efficiency high, I’d be surprised if panels covered in snow generate a significant amount.

And in most snowy environments, the simple number of hours per day of sunlight is the real issue.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dean
Dennis
Reply to  Dean
September 20, 2021 3:47 am

Noting that in many hot and dusty regions solar panels are fitted with covers to protect them when temperatures rise and dust storms threaten.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dennis
September 20, 2021 5:06 am

Are they really? Transparent covers?

Shannon
Reply to  Dean
September 21, 2021 3:22 am

Desert environment dust solution: deploy quad-copter drones with rotating brushes to clean off the dust. Then recharge the drones from the solar energy generated.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 5:12 am

griff, how much do you get paid to repeat these lies?

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 6:09 am

What!?! Solar panels work fine covered in snow??? Are you insane? Have you never been on the other end of a solar panel at night or when it is shadowed or covered in dirt or snow and ice? In order for it to generate any electricity it MUST be clean and at the correct angle to the sun.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 6:40 am

Do you ever bother to think prior to typing?

MarkW
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
September 20, 2021 6:48 am

Thinking is above griff’s pay grade.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
September 20, 2021 7:50 am

What a strange and bizarre person is the griffoid.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
September 20, 2021 2:26 pm

Follow the money

MarkW
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 6:48 am

If solar panels work just fine covered in snow, then it can’t possibly make any difference whether arctic sea ice melts or not. After all according to griff, sunlight goes right through ice as if it wasn’t there.

Bill Rocks
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 7:29 am

They do not “work fine covered in snow”.

Snow reflects light last time I looked.

35 years ago I owned and used 117 square feet of solar panels, hot water system. 70% total tax credit that had to be recaptured when I sold the house. The heat transfer fluid was silicon oil, a NASA technology. When the panels were covered in snow, I reversed the circulation and the little Grundfos pumps moved warm fluid through the panels to melt the snow.

Dennis
Reply to  tonyb
September 20, 2021 3:44 am

Sales and marketing in Australia for solar systems is intensive and supported by taxpayer funded government subsidies to reduce the price for buyers. And then feed in tariffs to provide solar installation property owners with credits against electricity used.

Few buyers do a full costing, cost-benefit analysis, so fail to make provision for replacement of their solar system in the future which is of course a real cost factor unless the property is sold before replacement is needed.

The Australian Energy Market Authority is preparing to ban feed in tariffs and the disruption to local grids and main grid from thousands of rooftop panels supplying energy intermittently.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dennis
September 20, 2021 5:12 am

“The Australian Energy Market Authority is preparing to ban feed in tariffs and the disruption to local grids and main grid from thousands of rooftop panels supplying energy intermittently.”

What is the individual homeowner going to do with the electricity he generates with his solar panels if the grid won’t accept it? Charge homeowner batteries instead?

Mr.
Reply to  Dennis
September 20, 2021 11:06 am

True Dennis.
I did my economic assessment for solar panels, and concluded that I was better off continuing to use LPG (propane) and grid electricity even if it went up 100% in price over the coming 10 years.

A neighbor who at the same time leapt into a $15k array of panels was soon p1ssed off that he wasn’t getting the benefit of the low electricity bills he was anticipating.

But I suspect a lot of that was due to his indulgence of leaving tv, lights, heaters, airconditioners, etc going constantly.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  tonyb
September 20, 2021 3:50 am

Just for comparison, Texas installed capacity is 88 GW. We have a lot of wind power which works some of the time but never above about 30% of nameplate.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  tonyb
September 20, 2021 6:59 am

Tony

Regarding the recycling of solar panels you may be interested in this piece by Michael Shellenberger

‘Why Everything They Said About Solar Was Wrong’

https://michaelshellenberger.sustack.com/p/why-everything-they-said-about-solar

Peter Barrett
Reply to  Dave Andrews
September 20, 2021 2:26 pm
Joseph Campbell
Reply to  tonyb
September 21, 2021 8:45 am

“Conventional power generation provides 90% efficiency”…Need some definition(s) here, TonyB. Just a “little problem” with the Second Law of Thermo…

griff
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
September 20, 2021 1:08 am

And are Watts readers boycotting Chinese goods, or anything with slave labour produced cobalt in? you aren’t, are you: it is only bad when it is a renewable…

Editor
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 1:51 am

griff

now you know about the physical and environmental degradation would you buy a chinese made solar panel?

Please look at the gridwatch figures at night and at low light months and not just a bright sunny day like today. I quote the EU figures above. These things are woefuly inefficient

tonyb

Editor
Reply to  tonyb
September 20, 2021 2:13 am

griff

Of course snow and also grime affect the efficiency of the solar panel. As its black and slippery and if at the right angle, snow is unlikely to be a big factor in the UK. Where winters are harder and longer the snow and ice will have a noticeable effect on output which is likely to about about 80% less than during peak summer anyway

Here is study on dust which can affect performance by up to 20%

Researchers develop new method to remove dust on solar panels (phys.org)

I am sure manty of us here would be happy to embrace a new technology that was as efficient, cost effective and reliable as fossil fuel, but unfortunately weather dependent renewables are not in that position.

If it were possible to develop large batteries to store surplus power, things might change, although there are still ethical and environmental and cost questions that need to be overcome.

tonyb

HotScot
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 2:45 am

I don’t buy solar panels…….

But then are you ‘environmentalists’ boycotting China for building coal fire power stations across their country, and much of the world.

No, you’re not griff. And that according to you mangy mob, is the nub of the problem. You’re even too scared to demonstrate outside Chinese embassies across the world, the M25 is your target of choice and because of your irresponsible actions one woman is in hospital with serious injuries after a car crash cause by your compatriots, and another suffering permanent damage following a stroke.

MarkW
Reply to  HotScot
September 20, 2021 5:15 am

According to our trolls, having China increase it’s output by trillions of tons a year isn’t a problem because their per capita output is low.
So apparently only western sourced CO2 is bad.
Either that, or even they don’t believe the nonsense they are peddling.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 5:13 am

Desperation, thy name be griff.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 5:19 am

“And are Watts readers boycotting Chinese goods”

I do, if there is an alternative.

I haven’t bought any solar panels. If I did want to buy solar panels, I would look for an alternative seller, even if it cost more, because of the connection of slave labor to Chicom solar panels.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 20, 2021 6:43 am

Sunpower is a good choice—spin-off from Cypress Semiconductor.

LdB
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 5:39 am

I tend to support local products but will buy chinese or renewable because I am pragmatic and know I can’t save the whole world.

Dean
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
September 20, 2021 2:39 am

I’d say that the movement of rural labour off the farms and into the manufacturing cities was more important than modern slavery.

Shannon
Reply to  Dean
September 21, 2021 3:31 am

Many times that “movement” was coerced or outright kidnapping; but that detail has been mostly whitewashed out of history books by the perpetrators.

John Barrett
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
September 20, 2021 5:38 am

Will that stop Australians buying them? Most are clueless on where they come from, and they don’t care if they do know.

Thylacine
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
September 20, 2021 1:04 pm

Canada’s Prime Minister is hoping to turn a “she-cession” into a “she-covery” by using Xi-conomics. Because the “basic dictatorship in China allows them to turn their economy around on a dime.”

Quilter 52
September 19, 2021 10:25 pm

Australian energy is expensive because of the stupidity of our political class and the ABC itself which should be forced to run on its own fairy dust.

Bryan A
Reply to  Quilter 52
September 19, 2021 10:47 pm

Why don’t they simply use the CHEAP ENERGY provided by Solar Panels…
Oh…Wait /snarkgasm

September 19, 2021 10:34 pm

The cost of energy in domestic manufacture is why Europe is headed at rocket speed to a cliff in its manufacturing and the employment and good wages it provides. German industry in Germany can only compete for markets within the EU by protective tariffs. Outside the EU, those German products cannot compete. Once Germany industry falls, so goes the EU to irrelevance.

September 19, 2021 10:39 pm

The insane response of all governments in Australia to the Covid-19 virus has added considerably to business and other difficulties in Australia.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
September 19, 2021 11:37 pm

We have yet to see the reality of the political response to COVID-19. It has decimated, people, businesses and communities. No politicians were hurt in response.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 20, 2021 1:21 am

Yet…

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
September 20, 2021 1:33 am

Unfortunately Australian voters are not too bright.

Analitik
Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 21, 2021 7:28 pm

Politicians (and public servants) actually got pay rises

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Analitik
September 21, 2021 11:30 pm

Yes I know. Disgusting.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
September 20, 2021 1:21 am

The fascism is not about teh rona.

John MacDonald
September 19, 2021 10:42 pm

I keep seeing the forced labor meme about chinese solar panels. But it occurs to me that the very high tech, high purity, high cleanliness of solar cell manufacturing does not seem to go together well with forced labor. Is there a real source for this meme?

Ed Hanley
Reply to  John MacDonald
September 19, 2021 11:03 pm

No

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  John MacDonald
September 19, 2021 11:05 pm

No there isn’t. I lived in China for many years and it was an eye-opener. Companies have dorm setups for employees in factories and even car dealerships and kindergartens. People live in, what we would call, primitive circumstances. Funny thing is that the employees go to restaurants several times a week and eat cheap food and booze. They only sleep in their dorms and enjoy life outside. It’s just a different way of life that westerners don’t understand.
I see the ‘slave labour’ thing as a variant of that.
I’ll cop flack over this comment but I don’t care. Go to China and live there for a while and observe things.

MARTIN BRUMBY
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
September 20, 2021 12:21 am

Alexy, I haven’t lived in China but have toured round. And what you say chimes 100% with what I’ve seen and with what I have been told by friends of mine who have worked in China as experts in various aspects of Coal mining.

There are also numerous films (even from the ultra-left British Bullshit Corporation) showing the working conditions ‘enjoyed’ by workers in today’s China.

Still more attractive than life in Chinese villages without electricity.

It is worth pointing out that the Gulag Archipeligo in the USSR wasn’t abandoned because of humanitarian or ethical concerns, it was based on the realisation that slave labour turns out to be inefficient and expensive.

Thus even nonsensical Communist theory has been tempered by hard reality as both Russia and China have shown. It helps that those at the top may be (actually are) evil, but aren’t gormless like our own Beloved Leaders.

No worries. Here in the West, we still have most of Academia, the media, many politicians who itch to prove that their version of Marxism will indeed lead to Utopia.

Editor
Reply to  MARTIN BRUMBY
September 20, 2021 12:34 am

Yes, bearing in mind that many of us will remember the pictures of chinese cities crowded with bikes-no cars-and the terrible living conditions, even these ‘dorms’ would be a step up for those that came before.

It will become less acceptable as living standards rise.

Which doesn’t get away from the conditions that forced labour will still live under.

tonyb

Robert Hanson
Reply to  MARTIN BRUMBY
September 21, 2021 1:56 pm

Yes some people are probably happy workers, so what? Just because ethnic Chinese who cooperate with the CCP are treated rather well, hardly disproves that disfavored ethnics and religions are sent to gulags where they are sorely mistreated as they are forced to work for nothing. The “lucky” ones get to keep all of their internal organs. 🙁

Slaves are expensive? Only if they have to be traded and sent from one continent to another. But if all that is required is for the Army and police to kidnap them and send them to the gulag factory, the “cost” is virtually nothing, and it has the extra benefit of eliminating people who might not want to kowtow to the CCP.

I hope those of you who are CCP funded trolls are being well paid, as you are engaging in despicable propaganda. Couldn’t sleep at night if I did that !

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
September 20, 2021 12:55 am

I’m with you here Alexy…
I’ve thought for a long time now that the whole ‘slave thing’ needs rethinking
Going back to the times of Slave Trading, slaves would have been expensive things to buy and you, as the purchaser wanted them to help you make money. As much money as possible with the lowest overheads
Taking my farmer experience, the contemporary equivalent would be buying a new tractor = very expensive things

It would make absolute sense to look after the thing. To maintain it properly, give it the correct fuel etc etc and in the broadest sense, keep it ‘healthy’

In the times of actual slave trading, if you kept returning to the market/auction for a fresh slave because you ‘trashed’ the last one, the market is gonna ‘take you for a ride’ and that will be the end of your business, cotton growing or whatever

It made good sense to look after slaves in the exact same way as you’d look after and cherish a shiny new car.

Now, see where we’re going when dealing with folks who rant and rave about ‘slavery’?
What they are doing there is projecting themselves onto the slave-keepers – when they describe horrible things that happened to slaves, they’re describing how they would have treated them.

Where have I gone wrong in that argument? In many ways I hope I have because those ‘projectors‘ are all around us now. If one of them accused you of ‘slavery’ – how would you feel?
Scary. Innit?

Solar Panels:
Yeeeeesssss, in a way solar panels are = ‘high tech’ but as high tech goes, they’re not really.
2 parts:

  1. The silicon cells themselves
  2. The assembled panel

The cells are very basic silicon diodes, nothing complicated, not requiring any super super clean clean-rooms and not needing ultra pure & defect-free silicon.
You could whack a panel with a hammer or shoot it full of holes with an air-rifle/pellet gun and it would still make electrickery.
Try that with the graphics chip in your computer….

Where ‘slaves’ are required is in the tedious and repetitive business of gluing the cells to a sheet of glass, soldering the bus0brs together, backing it with a sheet of sticky-backed plastic and sealing it all together with silicon mastic goo

Can anyone visualise the modern-day, highly-educated, ultra-intelligent and super-rich kids of today (the ones who don’t make babies and know the Quantum Mechanics of Trapped Heat inside out) queuing up to for that sort of job?
thought not

Somebody has to make bricks, dig drains and clean sewers.
Slaves basically.

But if the Slave Master takes care of all the little niggles of life such as basic food and accommodation and gives you a few $$$ to spend on beer or ciggies – why not.

And what the Slave Master does that’s of immeasurable benefit = the master deals with the finger-waggers, the BBC, the Grauniad readers, guilt & stress inducers and legions of tedious puritanical little nobodies that make modern life in the Western world so sh!t

So sh!t in fact it requires 100’s and 1000’s of blogs like this as some sort of antidote……..

Or, The People under and facing that stress turn to Comfort Food and other drugs.

And it’s killing them in droves – just as the Slave Owner in days of yore was/is cracked up to have done….
(see the projection?)

There’s food for thought. Not sugar for a change and not least as sugar consumption destroys ‘thought’

Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
Shannon
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 21, 2021 3:42 am

Forced labor sucks. Slavery sucks spit-wads. Human-trafficking-sourced slavery sucks worse than the best vacuum cleaner. Even indentured servancy sucks. The natural urge of humanity is toward individual liberty; it’s what God gives us at birth, and wants for us to choose. Over the aeons and across all continents, it’s what everyone aspires to.

Basing an economy upon unwilling labor always ends up in failure. In the heydays of the USSR, the joke among the workers was, “They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.” This mutual imagination society led to widespread starvation and scarcity of every desirable resource.

Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
September 20, 2021 5:31 am

Go there and live for a while? Uh, will the CCP have anything to say about that? Foreigners are not too welcome in China these days. There is a YouTube channel by two guys who lived in China for years…married Chinese women….travelled over the country by motorcycles…the Chinese police started making inquiries about them and they had to get out. Xi Jinping is very similar to Mao…Stalin..Hitler.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Anti_griff
September 20, 2021 5:54 am

I had no problem living there till 2018 when I came back to Australia for health reasons. I bought and sold my apartment there, I had 3 cars over the period I stayed there. All were bought legally and I had proper documentation for residence. I know of people(ex-colleagues) who are living there now, they are not having problems.
I have no interest in investigating some You-Tubers, Twitters, Instagramers and the like. I do know that if you screw up legally in China that you are not welcome. Being married to Chinese people doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow the rules – their rules.
As to whether foreigners are welcome or not at the moment. I don’t know. I am, currently not permitted to leave the penal colony of Australia, so it’s a moot point.

Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
September 20, 2021 8:42 am

ADVChina is the YouTube channel. If you live in China can you say Xi Jinping is a dictator? Are you being restricted by the “gubment” in the penal colony? I am sure nothing like that would occur in China…..and don’t mention Tianamen Square in China either…Xi may hear you. Do you speak Chinese…the ADVChina guys do speak the language.

Last edited 1 month ago by Anti_griff
Voltron
Reply to  John MacDonald
September 20, 2021 12:16 am

Why force the labor when they’ll work for peanuts as the cost of living is so low?

griff
Reply to  John MacDonald
September 20, 2021 1:15 am

It isn’t only solar panels which are produced by Chinese forced labour… it is however the only set of items Watts readers get exercised about.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 1:31 am

So you are saying your forebears were forced to mine coal?

HotScot
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 3:19 am

It’s called an example griff. You know what examples are, you use them all the time to support your ludicrous contentions that the world is somehow doomed because of mankind.

I was on the Chinese mainland (as a child) and witnessed the fall out of Mao’s ‘Great Leap forward’. Millions of starving people fleeing to Hong Kong, for one, living in corrugated iron shanty towns, largely supported by the evil, Democratic Hong Kongers. The late Laurence Kadoorie (later Lord Laurence Kadoorie) and Run Run Shaw (whose movie empire was bigger than Hollywood at the time) amongst others, devoted enormous energy and money to help employ and house as many as they could.

Chinese Communism hasn’t changed since then other than the select few are allowed to present the face of Chinese Capitalist success. The rest live little better than they did 100 years ago, grubbing an existence from the soil.

We’re not just talking about forced labour to produce solar panels, Communism itself is forced labour, the whole country is slave to the CCP.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  HotScot
September 20, 2021 7:21 am

A few months back Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China still had 600m people whose monthly income was barely 1000 yuan ($154) and not enough to rent a room in a city.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 5:21 am

It’s fascinating how griff sees hypocrisy everywhere he looks. Except the mirror.

If you haven’t seen readers here get upset about low priced Chinese products, it could only be because as usual, you only see what you are paid to see.

LdB
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 5:44 am

No I am pretty sure we know that most cheap items from China have the same background. If I am buying a $200 2.5KW generator or a $750 lathe I am pretty certain the only way you can make it for that cost is at some degree of slavery.

Bryan A
Reply to  LdB
September 20, 2021 8:30 pm

Actually it is because it works twice then sets your house on fire

MarkW
Reply to  John MacDonald
September 20, 2021 5:18 am

The manufacturing of cells is high tech. The building of panels and the placing of cells into those panels is your basic low tech manufacturing.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
September 20, 2021 7:56 am

Silicon refinement is energy-intensive and the process requires coke, i.e. coal.

John Tillman
Reply to  John MacDonald
September 20, 2021 6:28 am

The polysilicon for the panels is made from quartz by slave labor in Uyghur concentration camps.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-57124636.amp

This is the same genocidal regime which practices mass rape, forced sterilization and organ harvesting from political, religious and ethnic “enemies of the Party”.

Last edited 1 month ago by John Tillman
Carlo, Monte
Reply to  John MacDonald
September 20, 2021 7:17 am

There are really two distinct parts to PV module manufacturing: 1) solar cells and 2) the finished modules (panels). Today it is rare that a single factory does both; the cells themselves are pretty much a commodity. Any number of module manufacturers produce no cells at all, instead they get quotes from cell lines for cells that fit their module product. They also don’t make any of the other necessary materials like glass and aluminum.

Cell production had three steps: 1) refinement of raw SiO2 into high-purity Si crystals of the correct resistivity, 2) slicing and polishing the Si crystals into wafers, and 3) adding and growing the semiconductor layers, metallization, and anti-reflection coatings that turn the wafer into a working cell. While the last step is the most technical, it doesn’t require the same kind of clean rooms needed for IC manufacturing. Loading and moving wafers can and is highly automated.

Module manufacturing OTH is simpler and can be boiled down to soldering cells into strings and gluing them to a big piece of glass (i.e. encapsulation). The soldering is fairly critical as it affects the reliability, so hand-soldering by low-paid labor has gone the way of the Ford Model T, it is all automated, as is the encapsulation.

The only step that might still be done largely by staff could be packing the finished modules for shipment, there isn’t much that can be performed by low-paid slave-level labor.

John Tillman
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
September 20, 2021 8:34 am

Six of the world’s Top Ten polysilicon makers are in China:

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2021/05/no-avoiding-it-now-soon-the-top-4-polysilicon-manufacturers-will-be-based-in-china/

Xingjiang East Hope New Energy uses not low-paid, but unpaid Uyghur slave labor. The company in Inner Mongolia is also suspect.

OldGreyGuy
September 19, 2021 11:05 pm

But all of the Green Activists keep saying that renewable energy is cheap why then do our energy costs keep going up?

/sarc

Reply to  OldGreyGuy
September 19, 2021 11:33 pm

Because they are both ignorant and liars.

ghalfrunt
Reply to  OldGreyGuy
September 20, 2021 3:24 am

because gas prices have risen – gas in uk is biggest elec producer – hence elec prices rise.

Renewable energy does not cause this gas price rise.

MarkW
Reply to  ghalfrunt
September 20, 2021 5:23 am

Funny how electricity prices started rising decades before natural gas prices did.
The only reason why natural gas prices are rising at present is because you alarmists are outlawing it’s production.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  MarkW
September 20, 2021 7:35 am

I caught the end of a radio conversation this morning. Some guy from a UK energy provider was talking about rising bills and the recent failures of a number of UK firms. He said that the companies were only making 2% profit and 25% of customers bills were “government stealth taxes” and then started lauding unreliables.

He said nothing about the fact that what he called “stealth taxes” were
largely subsidies for those unreliables (only 5% is VAT). Hypocrite.

DaveS
Reply to  Dave Andrews
September 21, 2021 5:02 am

The refusal of the government to mandate the itemising of energy bills to show how much is being creamed off in the name of green cr*p says it all.

LdB
Reply to  ghalfrunt
September 20, 2021 5:45 am

Well then Ghal you should get rid of the GAS … see how that works out for you 🙂

griff
Reply to  OldGreyGuy
September 20, 2021 10:24 am

In the UK because the natural gas price goes up

Patrick MJD
September 19, 2021 11:40 pm

Australia started to export it’s industries back in the 90’s when it simply became too expensive to do stuff here. Australia is just one giant quarry.

Dennis
Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 20, 2021 3:51 am

The Australian mining sector of the economy is significant but Australia also exports meat and many other off farm products, has a substantial education of foreign students sector, seafood exports and others including military products, steel and aluminium, etc.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Dennis
September 21, 2021 2:43 am

Yes, Australia exports a lot of stuff. It does not make much stuff in Australia anymore for Australia. That’s the point. Education really isn’t a bit earner for Australia because those students typically return to their home countries taking that education and skill with them.

Terry
September 20, 2021 12:03 am

Aus also has high unionization and very high labor costs.

Dennis
Reply to  Terry
September 20, 2021 3:54 am

They would be acceptable if the many government regulations and compliance costs were reduced, red and green tape and even indigenous industry activist related handicaps.

But of course the substantial increase in electricity and natural gas prices have damaged the economy, transition to unreliable energy installations and so on.

MarkW
Reply to  Dennis
September 20, 2021 5:24 am

Without government regulations that all but require unionization, unionism dies on the vine.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  MarkW
September 20, 2021 7:22 am

Somewhat ironically, the union for Hollywood TV & movies is getting serious about a strike against how studios have been operating post-WuFlu—many long hours without breaks. In other words, a union protecting its members, how rare is this? We shall see what happens.

Alan M
Reply to  Terry
September 20, 2021 5:43 am

“High Unionisation” Not really, think it’s less than 15% these days and a fair majority are in government related areas such as education and health and of course the ABC

Last edited 1 month ago by Alan M
MarkW
Reply to  Alan M
September 20, 2021 6:53 am

Unionism can only thrive under two conditions.
1) It is mandated by government.
2) There is no competition.

Alan M
Reply to  MarkW
September 21, 2021 5:44 am

1) Not in Aus
2) Competition in the way of higher wages if you aren’t on a union controlled agreement

Mr.
Reply to  Alan M
September 20, 2021 11:29 am

Alan it’s not the membership numbers that make unions problematic.
It’s the excessive influence that union bosses exert on leftist legislators, regulators and corporate executives.

Look at the Chinese communist party membership (95 million) compared to its population of 1.4 billion. Just 7% are CCP members.

See, the class system in communism / socialism exists just as strongly as it ever did in the English, European, Indian societies.

Alan M
Reply to  Mr.
September 21, 2021 5:48 am

Agree re the influence of union bosses etc but Australia is far from communist China, we all have a vote even if some don’t really know how or why they should use it

Voltron
September 20, 2021 12:15 am

Last time I checked Australia appears to be full of boot licking idiots frantically salivating for the next government intervention to curtail their freedom and run by mediocre, leftist twits.

The country is soundly buggered. It used to be so much better – more free, more intelligent and creative in a useful way. Can’t imagine those ANZACs dying for what constitutes as our nation today.

Editor
Reply to  Voltron
September 20, 2021 12:37 am

They wouldn’t have stopped tens of thousands of Oz citizens returning home because of covid whilst letting in jet setting sports people.

Neither would they have pulled out of the Rugby World Cup nor most likely the Ashes.

Crocodile Dundee? More like Mouse Dundee. Whatever happened over the last 30 years to that very fine nation, which can likely be reflected in most of the West?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  tonyb
September 20, 2021 5:31 am

“Whatever happened over the last 30 years to that very fine nation, which can likely be reflected in most of the West?”

Leftwing undermining of society.

Mr.
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 20, 2021 11:36 am

Tom, the rot started in earnest in November 2007 when the 11-year term of the conservative party led by John Howard was replaced by a socialist Labor government led by Kevin Rudd.

Just like what’s happening in the US under Biden today, things stared turning to sh1t right across the board, as sensible, practical policies were ditched in favor of “progressive” feel-good aspirations.

Dennis
Reply to  Voltron
September 20, 2021 4:07 am

Australia became a penal colony from 1788 when Sydney Town was established and the British Colony of New South Wales that incorporated New Zealand.

The colonies created the Federation of States in 1901 and formed the Commonwealth of Australia from the colonies. New Zealand decided against joining.

Constitutional laws were written to favour the states on internal affairs of each state and the Federal Government has external affairs and some internal responsibilities and powers but generally the state governments have more power state by state than the Federal Government.

Unfortunately many constitutional laws have never been tested in a court of law so there are no precedents to provide guidance on how those laws should be applied. During this COVID-19 period State Governments have voted themselves emergency powers in State Parliaments and the Federal Government cannot control the situation, they have created a National Leaders Cabinet that does not operate under the same rules as a State or Federal Cabinet and therefore it is up to Premiers to cooperate or not, to coordinate pandemic actions or not, to close state (interstate) borders or open them and Australians have ended up with dictatorial State Governments hiding behind emergency powers and all voters can do is wait for the next election.

But even that doesn’t work, some State Governments have held elections since the pandemic began and were voted back into power based mainly on the premise that they will keep citizens safe from COVID-19.

And, the Labor State Premiers are using the pandemic as an excuse to play political games targeting the Federal Government and passing any blame to them, despite States being mostly responsible, relying on voter ignorance about the Federation of States and constitutional laws.

I have no doubt that the “silent majority” of voters are waking up.

Dennis
Reply to  Dennis
September 20, 2021 4:09 am

I should have also explained that The Australian system of government is based on the UK Westminster System but with some United States of America attached.

The United States are of course often disunited just like Australia’s Federation of States.

Somebody mentioned that controlling the States is like attempting to herd cats.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dennis
September 20, 2021 5:35 am

“Somebody mentioned that controlling the States is like attempting to herd cats.”

That can be a good thing. The writers of the Constitution of the United States thought so. 🙂

Shannon
Reply to  Dennis
September 21, 2021 3:56 am

Have you then no right of recall? Waiting for the next election, when said election is indefinitely postponed by the current tyrants, is worse than waiting for Godot. Time to invent a right of recall, if you lack it now.

griff
September 20, 2021 1:07 am

The reason china produces so much is LABOUR is cheap, not energy.

“Also the cost of labour in Australia is fairly high.”

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 1:30 am

It actually is both.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Eric Worrall
September 20, 2021 5:39 am

Low corporate tax rates also contribute to bringing businesses back to the U.S.

Biden is trying to undo all that and raise taxes to the point that the U.S. will no longer be competitive with other nations. So the companies go to other nations where they pay less taxes.

The man is a disaster for the U.S.

MarkW
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 20, 2021 6:55 am

The other day AOC declared that the top 1% pay almost nothing in income taxes. According to Biden’s IRS, the top 1% pay almost half of all income taxes.

If the left isn’t lying, they aren’t trying.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
September 20, 2021 11:51 am

The Left always has to demonize something or someone and rich people are an easy target.

The Democrats are running into difficulties in passing their $3.5 Trillion spending bill. It’s already been ruled that the Democrats cannot include amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, in the bill.

Inflation is now the number one worry of people in the new Fox News poll. A $3.5 Trillion new Democrat spending spree will only drive prices higher.

The Stock Market is down about 890 points right now.

Shannon
Reply to  MarkW
September 21, 2021 4:10 am

Check out how little AOC’s kingmaker, Saikat Chakrabarti, paid in income taxes. That POS is currently working to destroy the USA through unworkable energy policies and punitive taxation. Look him up, then reflect that without him, she would still be pouring beers in a bar.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Shannon
September 21, 2021 2:24 pm

AOC is getting lots of press for prancing around at the Met Gala, ticket price $35K, wearing a dress that touted “Tax The Rich”. As though, as many of her followers mistakenly believe, they don’t pay taxes. The designer of her dress was there too:

“James is “a notorious tax deadbeat with unpaid debts dogging her in multiple states,” reported the Post, digging up records that show six IRS tax liens totaling $103,220 on the parent company of her fashion brand, three open tax warrants in New York State for failing to withhold $14,798 in income taxes from employee paychecks (plus twelve other since-resolved NY tax warrants), and a $17,000 fine for failing to carry worker’s compensation insurance.”

Do I even have to say it: rules for thee, but not for me.

The really sick joke here is that she was quite welcome there, despite that fact that anyone who can afford $35K per person is in fact rich. So everyone there was in on the joke, and didn’t mind, since they knew “it won’t ever end up applying to me, I’m a Democrat”. 🙁

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 20, 2021 7:24 am

You could have stopped at “disaster”.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
September 21, 2021 4:53 am

As in “disaster for the whole world” not just the U.S.? 🙂

DaveS
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 21, 2021 5:09 am

Just wait until the vice-pres takes over….

Robert Hanson
Reply to  DaveS
September 21, 2021 2:27 pm

It won’t make a bit of difference, the same handlers that direct everything Biden does, will direct her the same way, and having no inner compass of her own, she will happily follow whatever they tell her to do.

LdB
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 5:51 am

Safety and compliance is also a major cost factor.

griff
Reply to  LdB
September 20, 2021 10:23 am

Yes, one which the Chinese also ignore… e.g. had to refit HS rail network and what some Chinese nuclear experts say about safety in building their reactors is shocking.

Lrp
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 12:11 pm

$0.09/kWh is not cheap? You’re an idiot

Bryan A
Reply to  Lrp
September 20, 2021 8:40 pm

Actually, relatively speaking, $0.09/KWh is cheap compared to California at $0.21

ResourceGuy
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 1:21 pm

Wrong again. Solar fab plants in China are now highly automated. It is the silicon component mfg that is energy intensive with coal power plants and slave-labor manned.

aussiecol
September 20, 2021 1:24 am

”Then in the early 90s the Aussie government became obsessed with wind and solar…”

No, more to the point, the then Labor Government became obsessed with attracting the green vote and bent over backwards to get their attention. Wind and solar became a consequence. 

Ed Zuiderwijk
September 20, 2021 1:33 am

Australia has closed itself down and thereby become a Chinese colony. The UK is going down the same drain.

griff
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 20, 2021 10:22 am

I think the US is further down the plughole than either of those two

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
September 20, 2021 11:56 am

No, the U.S. has a long way to go. We haven’t even gotten to the stage where States leave the Union yet.

In the United States, States have rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. If the U.S. government continues to act like a tyrant, the States will take things into their own hands, as allowed by the U.S. Constitution.

Then we will see where it goes from there.

Shannon
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 21, 2021 4:17 am

States are already taking sovereignty into their own hands. Examples: Texas hiring private companies to build a border wall after the Biden Residency’s utter failure to fulfill the duties of POTUS; Arizona reforming its elections systems despite – and perhaps, because of – the many failings of the Resident of the White House to justify his presence therein, after egregious examples of elections fraud from most of the 50 States of the Union. There are many more examples – such as Florida’s rebuke to Biden’s unlawful “mandates” regarding forced and coerced experimental gene therapy as well as mask-wearing “mandates.”

Serge Wright
September 20, 2021 1:41 am

The ABC must have used the full collective intelligence of their combined arts degrees to come up with the logical conclusions in this article. Australia has lost the last of its manufacturing industry largely because of its move to RE, because in the absense of cheap energy you can’t compete when you have the world’s highest labour rates. At least they did come up with the realisation of sovergn risk with all of the RE infrastructure coming from China, who can then turn off the tap deliberately once dependence is achieved, but of course we will never end up with a 100% RE grid because we know that isn’t possible.

Rather than write illogical articles for stupid people the ABC would be better off sticking to fake news smears against conservative MP’s that they seek to destroy with taxpayers money. After ending the career of Porter today it is obvious that this is a proven stategy whereby they make the fake accusion, the target starts up legal actions but they then use their unlimited taxpayer funds to either send the target bankrupt, at which point they must resign, or the target takes no legal action and the smear sticks and takes them down anyway. In the case of Porter he tried to use anonymous donations to take on the ABC and save his bacon, but this was ruled a breach of the disclosure rules and so the ABC wins and we have one less conservative MP. No doubt the ABC is having a party tonight and lining up their next conservative target.

Dennis
Reply to  Serge Wright
September 20, 2021 4:16 am

The beginning of the end of manufacturing industry, not all in Australia, was from when the Whitlam Labor Government (Federal) signed the UN Lima Protocol/Agreement in 1975 that promised to allow developing nations like China become manufacturing nations via the transfer of businesses, related jobs and know how.

And Australia’s unions did not complain to their Labor politician comrades.

Add circa 1990 the UN Agenda 21, now Agenda 30, Sustainability, that added to the decline by banning many important to the economy items such as converting public land forests set aside for sustainable logging for the timber industry to UN registered National Parks, no forestry, no new dams, no exploitation of minerals and energy deposits, no commercial fishing in Marine National Parks and much more economic vandalism.

Russell McMahon
September 20, 2021 3:22 am

Manufacturing PV panels in China for use in Australia makes reasonably good business sense at both ends. The panel cost is dependant on energy, labour, material and transport costs. The first two are far lower in China, material cost in high volume is about the same worldwide apart from transport costs and China-Australia transport is less significant than the other costs. Australia is getting energy and labour at Chinese rates. The Chinese are getting paid at acceptable rates for them. At the business level it’s win-win. At a national level there are other considerations.

People mention forced and slave labour a number of times here. I have spent a reasonable amount of time in China on electronic manufacturing related business. While slave and forced labour is a significant issue in Xinjiang, in much of China what we in the West may see as forced labour is often often just how business is done for typical workers. I have seen Chinese factories that had a 40 hour week – but also others with up to a 70 hour week at illegally low (even for China) pay rates. That essentially meets my idea of “forced”, but in the latter case the workers often considered it the best (and only) job available.

Dennis
Reply to  Russell McMahon
September 20, 2021 4:19 am

Sadly, in my opinion, people direct their anger and frustrations at the Chinese people, they are not the problem unless they are dedicated Chinese Communist Party members which rules the people in the worst totalitarian model of control and management.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dennis
September 20, 2021 12:01 pm

Yes, the Chinese people don’t have any more control over their leaders than we have over ours, so we should focus on criticizing the leaders, when criticism is warranted.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 21, 2021 2:33 pm

If anyone here has been criticizing the Chinese People, I’ve certainly missed it. Everything I’ve seen has been directed at Xi and the CCP, as it should be.

griff
Reply to  Russell McMahon
September 20, 2021 10:21 am

Nice to see a rational voice here!

DaveS
Reply to  griff
September 21, 2021 5:10 am

That’s a bit rich coming from you.

Dennis
September 20, 2021 3:37 am

Many of the leading lights of the UNSW research team moved to China, where they set up the country’s first solar PV factories.

Dr Shi completed a PhD under Professor Green in record time and then stayed on in Sydney to do more research.
He took a gamble in 2000, moving back to China to found a solar manufacturing company, Suntech.”

UNSW – University of New South Wales where the technology was developed!!!

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Dennis
September 20, 2021 7:26 am

And Martin Green earned his PV credentials in the United States, IIRC.

fretslider
September 20, 2021 4:55 am

““I really didn’t have much confidence in running a business over there”.”

Fortunately, China has some pretty lax environmental regulation, which obviously brings the cost down further. Cost savings are augmented further if you have a bunch of captive Uighyers doing the [dirty] work.

David Segal
September 20, 2021 8:07 am

I must say if Global Warming was a Chinese hoax the behaviour of the Chinese would back that up. Become the biggest producer of windmills and solar panels,make sure they breakdown every 10-20 years. Keep pumping out the CO2 at record rate so the world needs more windmills and solar panels . The scam should last at least 100 years before the rest of the world realises that it was all a ruse. By then China will be such an economic power that it won’t be just third world countries relying on their belt and roads diplomacy.

mkelly
September 20, 2021 8:22 am

The post says:”Under the last years of President Obama…”.

Obama had nothing positive to do with lowering the price of natural gas. He put federal lands off limits, the Gulf off limits, and then took credit for what states allowed and private companies accomplished.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  mkelly
September 20, 2021 12:04 pm

Despite the restrictions Obama imposed, natural gas production increased anyway, so it is correct to say it occurred on Obama’s watch, although he had nothing to do with the increase. He just happened to be the guy sitting in the White House at the time.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 21, 2021 2:35 pm

Whatever happened is only what he was unable to prevent, so he gets no credit for that at all.

John Kelly
September 20, 2021 8:30 am

In the 1980s the University of Sydney was the world’s leading research institute for solar energy. From that high to nothing now is a sad reflection on our country. What went wrong government?

Reply to  John Kelly
September 20, 2021 9:20 am

On no. They still keep the sun shining 🙂

ResourceGuy
September 20, 2021 12:04 pm

Global mfg moved to China because it could and there was no future with unions and union-run governments. China can raise prices now and there still won’t be a return of mfg to the antagonist countries no matter how low the cost of capital is. Steve Jobs tried to explain that but on one wanted to listen.

ResourceGuy
September 20, 2021 12:28 pm

As an investor in the last standing western solar panel producer with thin film CdTe, it’s been a long slog competing with slave labor in China and a host of domestic policy problems in the U.S., EU, and Canada. Obama and DoE used the slogan of “we don’t pick winners” while pouring taxpayer money into the losers with political connections and shoveling money to non-players like Solyndra for political favorites in SF. China tried to steal the CVD thin film proprietary tech by offering a 1 GW project in China with local production that included handing over the tech. (The same maneuver was tried in France but that also did not happen.) Meanwhile Canada pursued high cost renewables with local content rules in driving off the low cost producers. We’ll see how India works out. And we’ll wait for a peep out of the advocacy groups on the high-install cost, slave-made solar for rooftop solar on homes. That’s were the labor is in green jobs–the rest is automated.

ResourceGuy
September 20, 2021 12:32 pm

China makes things while the West pours money into pilot projects to nowhere (DoE) and protects the lobbyists and labor unions.

DrTorch
September 20, 2021 12:32 pm

There’s all sorts of irony here.

In short, a nation needs to take care of its natives.

jim duncan
September 20, 2021 4:41 pm

The main reason he didn’t set up a factory to manufacture in Australia was the compliance cost. Australian environmental regulation, unlike China, didn’t allow toxic waste to be pumped into rivers.

Vincent
September 20, 2021 7:25 pm

The two most fundamental factors of modern civilization are:
(1) The cost of energy.
(2) The ways we use that energy.

The cost of energy is dependent upon the supply of energy and the efficiency of the production and transport of that supply.

The way we use that energy is dependent upon intelligence, education, morality, ethics and pragmatism.

For example, two countries with similar costs and supplies of energy, and a similar climate, can vary enormously as a result of the different ways they use that energy.

In other words, a country which has high energy costs, but uses that energy in an efficient, moral, and corruption-free manner, in order to provide the maximum benefit for its citizens, will be much better-off than a country with low energy costs but high corruption, unenforced regulations, and internal conflicts.

A major problem in economic development is assessing and comparing the significance of the positive and negative affects of economic decisions. An example of that would be the use of coal-fired power stations, in China, without adequate emission controls, in order to produce the cheapest energy. The air pollution in Chinese cities has a negative effect of human health, but a positive effect on attracting foreign investment and raising people out of poverty.

“According to the World Bank, more than 850 million Chinese people have been lifted out of extreme poverty; China’s poverty rate fell from 88 percent in 1981 to 0.7 percent in 2015, as measured by the percentage of people living on the equivalent of US$1.90 or less per day in 2011 purchasing price parity terms.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_China#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20World%20Bank,2011%20purchasing%20price%20parity%20terms

There are many criticisms of China in this thread, for ‘stealing’ Western civilization intellectual copyrights. However, China, in ancient times, was the first to invent or discover many significant technological breakthroughs.

“China held the world’s leading position in many fields in the study of nature, from the 1st century before Christ to the 15th century, with the four great inventions having the greatest global significance.

Papermaking, printing, gunpowder and the compass – the four great inventions of ancient China-are significant contributions of the Chinese nation to world civilization.”

https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/ce/ceza/eng/zt/zgabc/t165406.htm

Shannon
Reply to  Vincent
September 21, 2021 4:30 am

China, in ancient times, was the first to invent or discover…”
Yeah, the key thought being, “in ancient times.” Under communism, after the Gang of Four murdered every educated person AND every person who displayed the ability to think independently, not so much in the way of actual invention and discovery is happening now. It’s still within the familial memory timeframe that people who become known as educated, or as thinkers, or as iconoclasts (i.e. those most able to think original thoughts) are also most likely to be murdered, disappeared, organ-harvested or imprisoned for saying or being accused of thinking the wrong things. Such an atmosphere has a decidedly chilling effect on creativity.

September 21, 2021 6:57 am

The cost of energy is critical to solar pv … because in most places, they do not produce more in their lifetime than was used to produce them. So, they are a net consumer of energy.

%d bloggers like this: