Can Obama’s Africa power plan hold a candle to China?

Polity.org.za 2 July 2013.

US President Barack Obama’s $7-billion plan to shine “light where currently there’s darkness” in Africa by doubling access to power on the world’s poorest continent was billed as a highlight of his African tour.

He announced the Power Africa initiative in Cape Town on Sunday in a speech which he also urged the fast-growing but still troubled region to follow the shining example of South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela

More…

EU agrees on China solar panel duties; Beijing urges dialogue

Robin Emmott and Francesco Guarascio | May 9, 2013 | Reuters

The European Commission agreed to impose punitive import duties on solar panels from China in a move to guard against what it sees as dumping of cheap goods in Europe, prompting a cautious response from Beijing which called for further dialogue.

EU commissioners backed EU Trade Chief Karel De Gucht’s proposal to levy the provisional duties by June 6 and make Chinese solar exports less attractive, two officials said.

Shares in German manufacturers SolarWorld, Phoenix Solar and Centrotherm rose sharply, while China’s Suntech fell heavily. Continue reading

The solar paradox: boom, bust or both?

Christoph Steitz | May 10, 2013 | Reuters

* Demand for solar panels to grow to more than 35 GW in 2013
* Number of equipment makers has dropped to less than 150
* House owners, farmers emerge as winners in current turmoil

FRANKFURT – Planned European levies on Chinese solar panels will only go some way to halt a rout among equipment makers who face the paradox of a booming market but falling revenues – and could suffer even more if a trade war erupts.

Huge European subsidies for solar power helped create hundreds of start-ups building solar equipment. Those subsidies are being phased out faster than expected, while greater competition within Europe and the United States as well as from China have pushed down prices and forced panel manufacturers to the wall. Continue reading

China cautious but still committed to nuclear

Engineering News 13 November 2012.

BEIJING – The pace of nuclear project approvals will be slower in the next few years as China seeks to allay safety concerns in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima crisis, but commitment to the sector remained undimmed, the head of the country’s biggest nuclear firm said.

Sun Qin, the chairperson of the State-owned China National Nuclear Corporation, said development was at an early stage and setbacks were unavoidable, but nuclear power remained an essential component of China’s energy strategy and the industry needed to do more to persuade the public of its virtues.

“There will be problems here and problems there but finally the world will have to depend on nuclear energy – it won’t be today’s nuclear energy, but something like fusion, but we first need to learn,” he said on the sidelines of China’s Communist Party Congress in Beijing, late on Monday.

It was not technology or finance now holding back the sector in China, but the need to gain public acceptance, he added…

(Editor’s note: A great idea, let’s learn in China and avoid lots of new coal plants over there!)

More …

China ends moratorium on new nuke plants set after Japan disaster

The Washington Post 25 October 2012.

BEIJING — China has decided to approve new nuclear power plants as part of plans to reduce reliance on oil and coal, ending the moratorium it imposed to review safety in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster last year.

The government’s decision Wednesday that nuclear power is safe for China takes the country in the opposite direction from some developed nations such as Germany, which decided in the wake of the Fukushima disaster to speed its complete phase-out of nuclear power. Japan is planning to phase it out by 2040…

(Editor’s note: Interesting that the actual headline to this article read: “Promoting renewable energy, China ends moratorium on new nuke plants set after Japan disaster”. Does this mean that Associated Press now equates nuclear energy with renewable energy?”)

Click here for the full article

China to approve only a few new reactors by 2015

Engineering News 24 October 2012.

China will restrict the number of new nuclear reactor approvals to a “small amount” before 2015, and will only allow them to be built in coastal regions, the government said on Wednesday.

At a meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, the Chinese government passed new nuclear safety and industry development plans which raised the safety standards for the nuclear sector.

According to a statement issued on official government website http://www.gov.cn, China will use only “the highest global safety requirements” when building new reactors…

(Editor’s note: It is interesting that China is building four new Westinghouse AP1000 3rd generation plants and that “will be the first of their kind to go into operation”, as well as two Areva EPRs. As far as I know, the only EPR’s under construction are the ones at Flammanville and Olkiluoto  – both seriously delayed and grossly over budget. The point here is that our government, in the same breath, says we are only going to use mature and off-the-shelf nuclear technology, but we will also use the latest and safest technology – presumably meaning AP1000 and EPR, which are not mature at all. Lets hope our nuclear plans continue to get delayed.)

Click here for the full article

Global CO2 emissions hit record in 2011: IEA

Times Live 30 May 2012.

China spurred a jump in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to their highest ever recorded level in 2011.

The Chinese jump in emissions offset falls in the United States and Europe, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.

CO2 emissions rose by 3,2% last year to 31,6 billion tonnes, preliminary estimates from the Paris-based IEA showed.

http://www.timeslive.co.za/scitech/2012/05/30/global-co2-emissions-hit-record-in-2011-iea