Thursday, May 28, 2009

TRADE WAR! "Protectionist Breezes: Wind-Power Companies Cry Foul on China"

Say it like "Toga Party!".
I see the Running Dogs at Environmental Capital have beaten me to the 'send key' on this story.
Actually, I shouldn't joke about this. If you want to see 20% inflation rates, 25% interest rates and 25% unemployment just keep poking the Dragon.

Our unsustainable fiscal and monetary policies have allowed China to have us over a barrel. Frankly, if I were China I would push it, right now. The administration has shot it's wad as far as non-inflationary stimulus is concerned (maybe over-shot). The Fed can't keep interest rates down, even with their extraordinary purchases of treasuries, we are at a point of extreme vulnerability.
From Environmental Capital:

There is an ugly side to China’s headlong rush into clean energy: Protectionism.

Foreign firms complain that China’s quest for a domestic clean-energy industry is coming at their expense. European and U.S. wind-turbine makers, in particular, say they are being squeezed out of one of the world’s fastest-growing wind-power markets because of discriminatory rules for bidding on power projects. Here’s the European discontent:

“All the foreigners are out of the race,” Jorg Wuttke, the [European Union Chamber of Commerce in China’s] president, said at a media briefing in Beijing today. “There seems to be a drive by the central government to award this to Chinese and not Europeans established in China.”

In a nutshell, rules for getting a piece of the $7 billion wind-energy part of the Chinese stimulus all boil down to the cost of wind turbines—not factors such as equipment reliability or the total cost of generating clean electricity. That favors Chinese makers and punishes foreign companies such as General Electric, Vestas, and Gamesa, Mr. Wuttke said.

This isn’t the first time foreign companies have complained about China’s often Byzantine rules for bidding on public projects. The EU’s Chamber of Commerce includes that as one of its standing complaints about doing business in China. The desire to support homespun industry isn’t unique to China. Recall the “Buy American” rider in the U.S. stimulus package....MORE

Here are the links I so laboriously gathered (and EC so blithely inserted into their post):

From Bloomberg:

China Rules Block Overseas Bids for Energy Projects, Group Says
From Reuters:

Foreign firms cry foul over China wind power rules

From the Financial Times:

Protectionist fears over China stimulus

Just wait til the markets figure out the Chinese solar incentives. Here are some of our posts, in reverse chronological order, over the last couple months:

China solar set to be 5 times 2020 target (LDK; TSL: YGE)

China Takes Steps To Rebalance Its Solar Industry (ENER, FSLR, LDK, SPWRA, TSL, YGE)

American vs. Chinese Solar Stocks

Solar: And Now, The Rest of the Story (LDK; TSL; YGE)

A Bifurcated Market in Solar Stocks (ENER; FSLR; LDK; SPWRA; TSL; YGE)
...Third, it is no longer a homogeneous, run with the pack, industry.
The Chinese solars will be favored by the Chinese government. And catch a break from the decline in silicon costs. Investors are going to have to know what differentiates these companies, it's not 2007 and never will be again.