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China’s Moves to Impact US Green Energy Capabilities in Post-COVID Era

China’s Moves to Impact US Green Energy Capabilities in Post-COVID Era

China’s eyeing a ban on solar technology and has gotten approval to open a lithium mine in Bolivia.

The last time we checked in on China, it dealt with a massive wave of coronavirus infections after jettisoning the useless “zero covid” policies that Chairman Xi admitted were a failure.

Chinese health officials now report a wave of covid infections is “coming to an end.”

The number of severe Covid cases and deaths is trending downward, the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report.

It also said there had been “no obvious rebound” during Lunar New Year holidays last week, where millions reunited for family gatherings.

There have long been questions raised about China’s Covid reporting.

But experts say the decline reported now corresponds with the expected timing of an end to this major wave.

And as China tries to resume its place in the global economy, it is running into issues related to new US restrictions related to the export of semiconductor manufacturing technology to the nation.

It turns out Japan and the Netherlands are poised to join the US on some key bans.

A Washington official has made the most direct comments by a US authority to date acknowledging the existence of a deal with Japan and the Netherlands for those countries to impose new restrictions on exports of chipmaking tools to China.

“We can’t talk about the deal right now,” said Don Graves, deputy commerce department secretary, on the sidelines of an event in Washington. “But you can certainly talk to our friends in Japan and the Netherlands.”

Bloomberg reported on Friday an agreement had been finalised and two people familiar with the matter later confirmed the news to Reuters.

The United States in October imposed sweeping export restrictions on shipments of chipmaking tools to China, seeking to hobble Beijing’s ability to expand its chip industry and enhance its military capabilities.

Interestingly, China is also planning its trade bans…restricting US access to critical solar panel technologies.

A plan by China to restrict exports of key solar manufacturing technology could delay attempts to build up a domestic solar supply chain in the U.S., industry experts say.

China’s Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Science and Technology are considering adding advanced technology used in the production of ingots and wafers, some of the building blocks of solar panels, to a list of technologies that are subject to export controls.

China currently accounts for nearly all of solar ingot and wafer production globally, as well as much of the equipment used in the manufacturing process—especially for the large-scale solar panels that increasingly dominate the market, industry experts say.

That’s not all the green-technology-related moves that China is making either. It recently opened up a deal with Bolivia to mine lithium, a compound critical to the batteries necessary to power electric vehicles.

Last week, Bolivia picked a consortium that includes China’s battery giant CATL to develop its largely untapped lithium reserves.

A report by Reuters said the deal would see the consortium partner direct lithium extraction from Bolivia’s Uyuni and Oruro salt flats.

The partnership would give the CBC consortium the right to develop two lithium plants that can produce up to twenty-five thousand tons of battery-grade lithium carbonate each annually.

China appears to be attempting to morph into the green energy equivalent of OPEC,

Perhaps our military experts and policymakers might wish to rethink security strategies related to putting all the eggs in the green energy basket…especially given the price of eggs.


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UnCivilServant | February 2, 2023 at 1:18 pm

Simple fix – drop the ‘Green’ boondoggles and switch to reliable energy.

China has a process for creating larger silicon slices which means individual cells are bigger and fewer are needed for a solar panel.

Expect Taiwan, South Korea or Israel to steal that technology and build a plant in the USA to produce them.

    henrybowman in reply to MattMusson. | February 2, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    That would be like the last thing I would expect. We have very little in the way of (not just) solar manufacturing in the US today, and that’s mainly because it’s way cheaper to (not) pay Chinese factory workers than to pay American workers. The technology involved has little bearing on that.

Slip and falls are crucifying J&J over talcum powder “causing” uterine cancer.
J&J pled bankruptcy but courts said no [expletive deleted] way.
China directly caused tens of trillions of dollars of damage by creating and spreading Covid, but no slip and falls give a shit.
What’s wrong with this picture???

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to FrankJNatoli. | February 2, 2023 at 6:54 pm

    “What’s wrong with this picture???”

    Slip and falls know the Chinese would thumb their nose at paying.

    The only solution to the Chinese problem, as I see it, is simply cease all trade with them.

BierceAmbrose | February 2, 2023 at 4:14 pm

It’s like dependencies on an authoritarian regime that doesn’t much like you for philosophical, political, and ethnic reasons are not such a good idea.

Fine by me. Let em have their solar cells. We should be developing GenIV fission.

What a shame. It looks like we might have to avoid the green garbage and just go with power sources that actually work reliably.

Looks like they know exactly where to punch back at the green grifters in power

Another Voice | February 3, 2023 at 5:39 am

‘especially given the price of eggs’
An excellent analogy!