Filed under: China, Communism, Global Warming, Junk Science, Regulation, Science/Technology | Tags: China's Collapsing Green Sector, From Largest Producer to Broke, Solar and Wind Failure
China has gone in for “renewable energy” in a big way. Their solar panel industry has gone from nothing to becoming the world’s largest producer in only five years. But the industry has now crashed with with negative profit margins, idle factories and soaring levels of debt.
Suntech, a solar panel manufacturer, has been a national champion which became the world’s largest, filed for bankruptcy in March after it defaulted on payment of $541 million of bonds. The Chinese government is scrambling to clean up the mess by offering tax breaks to all solar companies who acquire or merge with their competitors.
LDK Solar, another leading Chinese producer, was forced to turn to provincial and local government for protection from its creditors. LDK was the brainchild of the local Communist Party Secretary, and received millions of dollars in state subsidies, cheap financing, land and electricity in 2005. The local government is pumping in money to keep it from sinking, but the company has already shed 20,000 of its 30,000 employees and its shares are 98% below their peak.
China’s solar panel sector remains massively overbuilt. Demand for solar panels has been shrinking as governments in the West learn that it was the subsidies that made solar energy attractive.
Wind power is little different. Sinovel — one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufactures — was earning hundreds of millions of dollars in profits in 2010, to millions of dollars of losses that grow by the day. Revenues are a fifth of what they were in 2010. In 2012, 17% of all windmills lay idle, the power they produce too expensive to connect to the grid. In some regions, 50% of all windmills remain unconnected to the grid.
China’s green sector crash is a textbook example of a command and control economy, where “experts” substitute their ideas for the complex supply and demand decisions of a free market. The Chinese state gave Chinese manufacturers near-monopoly powers and almost free money. The Bank of China, one of the largest state-owned commercial banks, says that 21% of its solar loans are in or near default. The average debt ratio is 75.8%.
To save face, China’s central planners have switched from subsidizing suppliers to subsidizing demand by demanding that power producers meet green targets in the domestic market. China can, of course force consumers to buy solar energy, but that doesn’t really solve anything. Chinese power customers would just pay the price in more expensive and less reliable power.
Filed under: Communism, Freedom, History, Politics, Pop Culture | Tags: Labor and Illegal Immigrants, May Day Celebrations, Maypoles & Communists
It came to my attention that President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation today, to proclaim that this is Loyalty Day, 2013. Huh? I had never heard of Loyalty Day, but it appears that it began in the Eisenhower administration. How could I have missed it? Presidents issue a proclamation every year. It’s a presidential thing. But let’s go back a little:
May Day in many cultures has marked the beginning of spring, a half-year from All Hallows, celebrating the bringing back of the light, moving the cattle out to the fields, having a big bonfire and parading the cattle around the bonfire decorated with bright yellow may flowers. The Celtic countries called it Beltane, in Germany it was pretty much the same thing except called Walpurgisnacht after an English missionary named Walpurgis, also bonfires and celebration.
Just where and when it became a May Day celebration with maypoles and baskets of flowers, I’m not sure. (I checked with Wikipedia, but didn’t pay too close attention).
In small towns, young people made little may baskets filled with flowers and hung them from a friend’s front door, then rang the bell and ran away, leaving the basket a mystery. That’s all pretty tame, and when the Soviet Union began to take over May Day to show off their military might and their solidarity, maypoles began to seem a little wimpy. Besides those Soviet parades were annoying.
Filed under: Capitalism, Communism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Liberalism, Politics, Statism | Tags: Misunderstanding Everything?, The Layabout Policy, The Problem of Our Schools
It is always helpful when members of the opposition tell you what they really think.